15 Pros and Cons of Living in Summerville, SC Right Now

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Essential Things To Know Before Moving To Summerville, South Carolina

South Carolina has become a popular place to live. As a result, let’s explore the pros and cons of living in Summerville, a desirable community near the historic city of Charleston.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Summerville, South Carolina

My top list of the moving to Summerville pros and cons include:

  1. Growing economy
  2. Good schools
  3. Historic Downtown
  4. Excellent location
  5. Mild winter weather
  6. Outdoor destinations
  7. Local attractions
  8. Rapid population growth
  9. An increasing cost of living
  10. Congested traffic
  11. Overcrowded schools
  12. Risk of hurricanes
  13. Prone to flooding
  14. Summer heat
  15. Pesky critters and bugs

With that list of 15 points about moving to Summerville in mind, let’s get into the details.

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1. Growing Economy

Summerville is located in Dorchester County and is part of the greater Charleston tri-county area. The region has been successful in attracting new businesses to the community.

As a result, the economy is growing, and many jobs are available in health care, education, manufacturing, and transportation.

Well-known Summerville area employers include:

  • Boeing
  • Bosch
  • Volvo
  • South Carolina ports

2. Good Schools For Families Living In Summerville

First, for families moving to Summerville, rest assured that you have access to quality schools.

This South Carolina city is part of Dorchester School District Two. The district is one of the top ten highest-rated districts in the state (source: Niche.com) and is home to 27 schools and programs, including:

  • Three traditional high schools
  • Seven middle schools
  • 15 elementary schools
  • One alternative school (grades 6-12)
  • An adult education program

Furthermore, the area has several colleges and universities, including the College of Charleston.

You can also take advantage of in-state tuition in western South Carolina at Clemson – also, the University of South Carolina campuses throughout the state.

Okay. We are just getting warmed up. So, let’s continue with the pros and cons of moving to Summerville.

3. Historic Downtown

The downtown boasts a vibrant commercial area. Visitors and residents dine in local restaurants, browse art galleries, and shop in the many independent stores.

The Short Central pedestrian street provides a scenic path from nearby historic neighborhoods to the Hutchinson town square. Other points of interest in downtown Summerville include:

  • Gurerin’s Pharmacy
  • James F. Dean Community Theatre
  • The Timrod Library

Consider this next significant advantage of living in Summerville.

4. Excellent Location For Those Living In Summerville

Summerville residents live in the center of everything the Charleston area offers. For example, driving times to popular area attractions include:

  • 30-60 minutes to nearby lakes
  • 30-45 minutes to downtown Charleston
  • 45-60 minutes to the beaches
  • 2.5 hours to Hilton Head

5. Mild Winter Weather

As the name indicates, life in Summerville might be perfect for anyone seeking to escape a cold northern climate.

It is warm here most of the year, and it rarely snows. January is the coldest month, yet higher temperatures are typically near 60 degrees. Low temperatures rarely drop below freezing.

Access to fantastic outdoor destinations is one of the best things about living in Summerville. Let’s discuss it.

6. Outdoor Destinations

The mild weather provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Popular area spots to enjoy nature and the great outdoors include:


  • Folly Beach
  • Isle of Palms
  • Sullivan’s Island
  • Kiawah Beachwalker Park
  • Edisto Beach


  • Lake Marion
  • Lake Moultrie


  • James Island County Park
  • Wannamaker County Park
  • Palmetto Island County Park

Additionally, many dog parks, walking trails, and swimming pools are available throughout the area.

7. Local Attractions

After moving to Summerville, there are many other exciting things to see and do.

Several local attractions include:

  • 3-day Flower Town Festival
  • Weekly farmers market
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
  • Middleton Place Historic site

Okay. That concludes seven significant benefits of living in Summerville.

Now, I want to balance this conversation out and cover the cons.

8. Rapid Population Growth From People Moving To Summerville

Summerville remains a relatively small community with just over 50,000 residents. However, in the last 20 years, the population has more than doubled.

Unfortunately, not everyone living here is happy with the fast population growth. Transplants change the local culture and put demands on resources that are difficult to serve.

Next, let’s explore some disadvantages of living in Summerville resulting from population growth.

9. An Increasing Cost Of Living In Summerville

Over the past three years, median home prices have increased by almost 45%. Couple the rising real estate costs with the below-average household incomes here, and making ends meet is more challenging than ever for the typical Summerville family.

10. Congested Traffic

Traffic is heavy. The conditions of the roads could be better, and travel safety is a concern.

Congestion heading to the beaches is horrible during the summer. If being close to the beach is a priority, check out the neighboring community of Mount Pleasant.

Furthermore, travel times for commuters have been getting longer. Local and regional commuters heavily travel U.S. 17, Summerville’s Main Street. The busy train tracks through downtown can also create delays.

11. Overcrowded Schools

Many schools are becoming overcrowded due to the rapid population growth. Most of the schools are full every year.

Thus, for anyone moving to Summerville with school-age children, it is essential to register early and reserve a spot for your child.

Okay. The last three points address problems with population growth and the city’s infrastructure. Now, let’s move on to the weather. I am beginning with one of the worst things about living in Summerville.

12. Risk Of Hurricanes

Hurricane season runs annually from June through November.

Each year, South Carolina has about an 80% chance of being impacted by a tropical system. September is the month that the state is most likely to see a storm.

Emergency plans are necessary for residents since Summerville is only 30 miles inland from the ocean.

If you are not interested in dealing with hurricanes, consider moving to a city in the upstate region of South Carolina. There, you will be 200 miles from the Atlantic coastline.

13. Prone To Flooding

Heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes combined with the city’s proximity to sea level means flooding is always possible.

Homes in flood zone X have a moderate risk of flooding. While homes in flood zones AE and VE are at greater risk. I recommend purchasing flood insurance in these areas.

14. Summer Heat

During June through August, the weather is hot and muggy. High temperatures routinely climb into the 90s combined with high humidity.

Thus, it is sticky and uncomfortable for most of the summer season.

So, be prepared to beat the heat. Some people stay in the comfort of air conditioning for most of the season.

Finally, here is one of the bad things about Summerville, possibly ruining your best outdoor plans.

15. Pesky Critters And Bugs Are Living In Summerville

People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the Summerville lifestyle. As a result, you should get accustomed to some unwanted neighbors, such as the following:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Palmetto bugs
  • No-See-Ums
  • Alligators
  • Raccoons
  • Possum

Okay. That completes my review: 15 pros and cons of living in Summerville. So, please allow me to wrap up.

Is Summerville, SC A Good Place To Live?

Summerville, South Carolina, is a great place to live because of the beautiful weather, growing economy, good schools, and abundant recreation options. Furthermore, residents love easy access to the many regional attractions of the greater Charleston area and adjoining coastal communities.

However, moving to Summerville will only be for some. Thus, carefully examine all the pros and cons before packing!

Most importantly, best of luck, no matter where you settle down.

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

15 Living in Summerville, SC Pros And Cons Fully Explained