Fort Mill makes NerdWallet’s top-10 list

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comApril 23, 2014 

— With its proximity to Charlotte and Lake Wylie and its overall affordability, the town of Fort Mill was ranked No. 6 among the top 10 places for home ownership in South Carolina, according to NerdWallet.

Noting the continued growth of the Palmetto State – a rise in population of more than 15 percent since 2000 – the consumer advocate website compiled the list after analyzing data from 15 places in the state with at least 10,000 residents. The criteria included the availability of homes, cost of living and the rate of growth.

Fort Mill, the website says in its rankings, “is a great place to settle down and purchase a home. Since the monthly cost of being a homeowner here is only 25.4 percent of median household income, it is clear why 67 percent of the homes here are owned rather than rented.”

The ranking is only for the town and does not include nearby Tega Cay or any of the unincorporated areas of Fort Mill Township.

The proximity to Charlotte, the nation’s second largest financial center, “offers many educational, recreational and employment opportunities,” the website notes. It also ranked Fort Mill high for access to Lake Wylie “and its 325 miles of shoreline, which is ideal for boating, fishing, water skiing and sailing .”

Ranked just above Fort Mill at No. 5 is Irmo, where NerdWallet’s analysts determined that owning a home accounts for 24.7 percent of the monthly median household income, the second-lowest of any city to make the top 10. It also won high marks for Lake Murray, described as “a major recreation destination in central South Carolina.”

The website didn’t mention Fort Mill’s schools, consistently regarded as among the best in the state, but mentioned Irmo’s schools as a factor and pointed out that its school district is the highest-rated in the Midlands.

The No. 1 overall spot went to Five Forks, descried by NerdWallet as “a fast-growing, affordable suburb of Greenville,” where 92.5 percent of the population own homes that account for only 18.4 percent of the median income. The amenities were also a big factor.

“Five Forks is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley metropolitan area, which offers many cultural and educational opportunities. Greenville is known for its performing arts centers and museums. Chief among them is the Greenville County Museum of Art, which is counted among the country’s premier American Art museums and draws visitors from around the world to see the work of artists such as Jasper Johns and Andrew Wyeth,” according to the website’s report.

Michael Harrison •  803-547-2353

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