Snapshot: Charleston

A thriving post-college tech town

A couple of months ago, USA Today identified Charleston among the top American cities (with populations of 100,000 and up) where 20-somethings outnumber the teens.  Charleston has a whopping 197 residents age 20 to 29 for every 100 teens. This means either the teens are sticking around after they hit 20 or that the 20-somethings are moving to Charleston from elsewhere. Either way, clearly “Chucktown” has it going on.

The USA Today article cites Charleston’s tech startups (BiblioLab, Sparc, PokitDok, and Benefitfocus) as a major draw for post-college youth, and the city’s new urbanist-friendly lifestyle as the attraction that keeps them there.

If you want to be in the heart of Charleston’s most lively and walkable neighborhood, your best bet is downtown. But Charleston also has beautiful laid back beachy neighborhoods and mixed-use developments in various parts of the city (where downtown prices need not interfere with one’s need for walkability).

What your money will buy downtown today:

$424K – Condo: One bed, one-and-a-half baths, built in 1900, 862 square feet, views, exposed brick, and historical charm.

$500K – Condo: One bed, one-and-a-half baths, 1240 square feet, covered patio, and deck.

$2.2M – Single family home: Four beds, three-and-a-half baths, built in 1854, 3183 square feet, skylight, and a wrap-around porch.

Area monthly rentals:

$1100 – Loft: One bed, one bath, and 475 square feet, fourth-floor, off-street parking.

$2650 – Single family home: three beds, three baths, 1900 square feet.


In some cities, if you live where it’s hopping during the day, it might be a snoozefest at night.  In other places, it’s the reverse. Downtown Charleston, however, is happening at all hours. Think markets, shopping, and art during the day, and food, booze, and woo-hoo at night.

Charleston Economy*:

Unemployment rate: 5.6%

Median household income: $51,737

Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $253,800

Median Sales Price: $223,000

Median List Price: $265,000

*Data taken from RealtyTrac.com, United States Census Bureau, and Bureau of Labor Statistics, December, 2014.

Photography | Elisa Bricker


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Elizabeth Salaam
Along with her work as Senior Contributing Writer for Girl's Guide, Elizabeth Salaam writes for the San Diego Reader. Her work has also been published in Elle Magazine. | Most inspired by: Contradictions. | Favorite room in my home: The Master suite. The windows have views for days! | Best design idea I may never do: Adorn my enclosed toilet room with library book wallpaper and a chandelier. | Will never: Bungee jump. | Have always been: Rebellious. | Dying to: Live in a Paris flat with herringbone wood floors.
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