S.C. real estate blog includes Fort Mill on top 10 list

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comMarch 10, 2014 

Ashleigh Walsh stops in for a funnel cake Saturday at the 2013 S.C. Strawberry Festival in Fort Mill. The town was recently named one of the top 10 communities in the state by a real estate blog.

JEFF SOCHKO SPECIAL TO THE FORT — FORT MILL TIMES FILE PHOTO

  • S.C. communities on the top 10 lists

    1. Five Forks

    “Looking at our data, Five Forks is simply awesome. It had one of the highest overall quality of life scores in our analysis. That’s because with a median household income of $97,161.”

    2. Hilton Head Island

    “What does a good quality of life look like in Hilton Head? The median household income is one of the highest in the state at $67,629. Additionally, real estate here is the most valued out of any place in our study, with a median home price of $500,800. Finally, the rent ($1,064) is sky high, an indicator of desirability.

    2. Charleston

    “Known for its beautiful architecture, variety of restaurants, rich history, and South Carolina charm, Charleston is not new to the world of honors and accolades. It was recently voted America’s Most Friendly City by Travel + Leisure and the ‘most polite and hospitable city in America’ by Southern Living magazine.”

    4. Mauldin

    “This Greenville County city may have a small-town feel to it, but that certainly doesn’t mean that is lacking in things to do; in fact, with its variety of amenities, there seems to be plenty going on.”

    5. Mount Pleasant

    “Mount Pleasant truly earned its name, though, when it came to crime: At 2,028 crimes per 100,000 people, it ranked the highest in this criteria. And did we mention Mount Pleasant also has the best weather in our list? It does.”

    6. Greenville

    “Greenville placed among the top 10 when it came to things to do. It also had a low unemployment rate of just 7.4 percent, and one of the lowest sales tax rates in the state, just 6 percent. To top it off, for all those people commuting in this third strongest job market, their drive is a quick 19 minutes on average.”

    6. Lexington

    “Tied for the No. 6 spot on our list with Greenville was Lexington. This county seat of Lexington started out strong with a high number of amenities, for its population of under 20,000. Aside from tons of restaurants, cafes, bars, and things to do, Lexington also scored well for an overall good quality of life.”

    8. Beaufort

    “The city of Beaufort may not be the cheapest on our list, but it certainly makes up for that with plenty to do and high salaries. Starting with amenities, Beaufort ranked No. 1 in this category with a variety of businesses for their population of just more than 12,700.”

    9. Fort Mill Township

    “Fort Mill is a delightful town of just over 11,000 residents, making it the smallest on our list. Fort Mill has all the educational, cultural, and dining benefits of being close to the Charlotte metropolitan area, but it also acts as its own, close-knit community. In fact, with so many amenities in Fort Mill, you don’t really have to venture outside of town unless you want to.”

    10. City of Goose Creek

    “The final place on our list was Goose Creek, mostly for its high overall quality of life. In this case, a high quality of life meant a high median household income of over $60,000; a high median home price of $169,600, and some of the highest rent prices in the state, a median price of $985, indicating the area’s high desirability.”

— A blog written by Movoto Real Estate included Fort Mill Township on its list of the “10 best places in South Carolina with a population of over 10,000.”

The township came in at No. 9, just before Goose Creek. No other York County community made the list and only Rock Hill, at No. 39 – was among the top 50. Five Forks was ranked No. 1.

Although the listing indicates the ranking goes to the greater township area, the explanation referenced only the town of Fort Mill. According to the blog, Movoto picked Fort Mill because it “is a delightful town of just over 11,000 residents, making it the smallest on our list. But, according to the Fort Mill website, it is one of the fastest growing communities in the state, and for good reason. Fort Mill has all the educational, cultural, and dining benefits of being close to the Charlotte metropolitan area, but it also acts as its own, close-knit community. In fact, with so many amenities in Fort Mill, you don't really have to venture outside of town unless you want to.”

Communities were judged on the following criteria:

• Total Amenities

• Quality of Life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student to teacher ratio)

• Total Crimes

• Tax Rates (sales tax and income tax)

• Unemployment

• Commute Time

• Weather

After assigning points based on criteria, communities were given an overall “big deal score” that determined the final positions on the list.

Movoto’s review also cited Fort Mill for having the best bang for the buck, noting, “it is also the most affordable place in our top 10.” Fort Mill was ranked No. 1 in the weather category for having a high air quality score and “a low average summer temperature of 76 degrees,” though residents might have a bone to pick over that assessment after experiencing prolonged heatwaves during recent summers.

A company spokesman, Chad Stiffney, said the rankings are objective and no one outside the company can lobby for or otherwise influence positioning on the list.

“Our criteria was all that went into these ranking,” Stiffney said. “No one associated with the towns or locations had any influence on the rankings.”

Michael Harrison •  803-547-2353

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