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Where to Buy Rental Property in Charleston

Hello, property and potential property owners! Welcome to the RPM Distinguished Care blog, where we provide practical advice about property management! If you’re a return visitor, welcome back. We appreciate your support! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in managing successful rental properties in and around the Charleston area. We’re here to make your lives easier by giving you the resources you need to maximize profitability and have a successful rental property. We provide comprehensive property management services at every conceivable level. From advertising and marketing, to responding to applications, to inspecting and maintaining properties—there’s nothing we do not do. Further, we ensure tenant compliance, handle necessary evictions, and report directly back to you about revenue and profit potentials. We aim to make owning rental property as easy for you as possible, for as little money as possible. Check out the rest of our site to meet our team and discover what makes RPM Distinguished Care the best property management company in Charleston.


Our last article was a breakdown of using return on investment to estimate how much profit you can make from a rental property. Any smart investor wants to be sure they’re likely to make back their original investment and more. While calculating ROI can be intimidating and appear complicated, we took the time to explain how in simple terms. We explain the formula for ROI, how to account for interest, and several principles which dictate profitability. Using the information in our last article, you can begin to plan for your future as a rental property owner! Even if you already own rental property, calculating ROI can give you a sense of how well your property is performing and whether any changes need to be made in order to reach your long-term goals.


Another article of ours, ‘Everything You Need To Know About the Charleston Rental Market,’ is also available! This article is a wonderful resource and perfect precursor to this article. The Charleston rental market is set to become one of the most sought-after in the country and now is the perfect time to invest. Based on in-depth research, we presented a case for why Charleston’s rental market presents a unique opportunity for first-time and seasoned rental property owners alike. Population growth, affordability, low unemployment, an expanding job market and quality of life are only a few of the topics we covered. If you’re considering investing in Charleston, definitely give this article a quick read!


Today, we’re piggy-backing off of our second-to-last article and diving even deeper into the Charleston rental market. Specifically, where to invest. It’s one thing to say Charleston is a wonderful area and a great place to own real estate, but it’s another to say where exactly you should spend your money. After all, the Charleston Metropolitan Area is composed of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, including the towns of Summerville, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, Moncks Corner, and more. Each of these areas, in turn, is composed of countless neighborhoods. If you read our Charleston Rental Market article, you’ll already be aware 47% of households in Charleston are renter-occupied. That’s nearly half! Today, we’ll discuss the most affordable areas compared to the least affordable areas and a few means you can use to guide your search for the perfect investment property here in Charleston. If you’re interested in learning more, read on!


Medians & Averages


Medians and averages for home prices are going to be the first predictor of where you’re best served investing your money in Charleston. For example, the median home price in Summerville, SC is $317,000. In only a year, home prices have risen 15.3%. As well, time spent on the market before sale has dropped from 61 days to 44 days. While the entire country is experiencing some iteration of the “housing boom,” it’s important to examine the trends of specific areas over a long period of time to determine whether they’re here to stay. In Summerville’s case, median home sale price shows a 15.3% increase year-over-year, growing from $207,900 in 2016 to its current rate. Potential renters include those working at Boeing, Volvo, or Google.


Now, the city of Charleston (which includes Downtown, parts of Wando and John’s Island) tells a different story. The median home sale price here is $421,000, up 16.9% from last year.  Its upward trajectory over the last five years has also been notable, but not as steep as Summerville’s. Likewise, their time spent on the market decreased from 60 days to 46 days. With an incredibly high sale-to-list ratio, 99.6% of homes in Charleston sell for at or above their listing price. Now, Downtown Charleston, or the Peninsula, is among the most expensive places to buy property in the Charleston Metropolitan Area. Home to the College of Charleston, many students are looking to rent in and around this area. The Peninsula is also one of the most competitive areas to buy in Charleston, therefore you’ll need to be confident and assured when planning to purchase property there. The most expensive neighborhood in Charleston is South of Broad, located at the tip of the Peninsula. With its access to the water, proximity to shopping, and cultural richness, the median price for homes in South of Broad is $1.6 million. Now, for those searching for an investor friendly option, Village Green boasts a median listing price of $308,000, which is obviously much lower than the average for the entire city.


Mount Pleasant is a quickly growing area. The town nearly doubled its population from 2000 to 2010 and rental properties are having to keep up with the increasing demand. Only a bridge away from Downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant is perhaps a more desirable location for families due to its highly-rated public schools, suburban feel, and beaches. For these reasons, the median home sale price in Mount Pleasant is $556,000. Do you notice a trend? This price is a 15.8% increase from last year and, like Summerville and Charleston, the time houses spent on the market decreased from 66 days to 42 days. In a five-year time span, Mount Pleasant is more reminiscent of Summerville, in that it’s increased its median price by over one-hundred thousand dollars. Mount Pleasant is more competitive than the Charleston housing market as well. In June of 2021, its sale-to-list percentage reached 101.8%, meaning all of the homes sold in that month did so at prices higher than their asking price. The most expensive Mount Pleasant neighborhoods are Town Center, Hobcaw Point, Scanlonville, The Groves, Isle of Palms, Snowden, and more. Meanwhile, the most investor friendly neighborhoods in Mount Pleasant are Tupelo, Ventura Ville, and Chuck Dawley Boulevard.


James Island is a perfect option for those who want to be near Downtown while enjoying the coastal benefits of the beach. The houses here are incredibly well-built and boast many features which potential renters will find attractive. Well-built homes means less maintenance in the long run, as the property owner, and this is another reason to invest in James Island. The median home sale price is $456,000, which is comparable to Charleston. However, unlike Charleston, James Island has seen a whopping 21.6% increase year-over-year. Over five years, the median price of homes has risen from $275,750 in 2016 to its current price. Homes spend an average of 41 days on the market and more homes were sold there this year than last year. Of all of the places discussed today, James Island is the most competitive housing market, with a sale-to-list percentage of 100.5%. Some of the priciest neighborhoods include Harborview Road and Clearview Drive, while some of the cheapest neighborhoods include Riverland Terrace and Ocean Neighbors. Keep in mind, many neighborhoods in James Island have a mix of homes in the 200-thousands and the millions. As well, many neighborhoods such as these do not have HOA fees and are close to the water.


Changing Landscape


As you can probably tell from the statistics broached here, Charleston’s quickly becoming less affordable. This is due to a combination of things, including: high quality of life, job opportunities, limited housing inventory and increasing demand. That said, the potential for rental properties to succeed here is high. For those looking to build equity and for those looking to supplement their income, Charleston properties are capable of fulfilling both needs simultaneously. Don’t wait! Begin planning your next investment in Charleston today!



Once you have your property, you’ll want to maximize profits by teaming up with an experienced property management company. With Real Property Management Distinguished Care, we treat your property as if it were our own. No hidden fees, only safeguards and guarantees. Up-front packages you can review and prepare for right here on our website! If you’d like more information on how we address and plan for maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are more than happy to assist you in setting up the perfect property management service for your properties. Protecting your investments is our priority!

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