So, you’re considering a move to Florence, South Carolina?
On paper, Florence might come off as an average American town but there’s more than meets the eye. Let’s look into the good and the bad of living in this Southern part of the Palmetto State.
Pros of Living in Florence, SC
Affordable Cost of Living
Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that the cost of your monthly groceries in Florence will not hurt your pocket as it might in bigger cities. Whether it’s buying a loaf of bread or a pound of chicken, the graph stays on the lower side of the curve.
And let’s talk about housing. You get more space for less money – as simple as that. Add in the low utility costs and you’ll feel your wallet give a little sigh of relief.
Worried about taxes? Don’t be. The overall tax burden in South Carolina is among the lowest in the nation – making Florence even more attractive.
Thanks to Florence’s central location, both the mountains and beaches are just a few hours’ drive away. So, whether you’re the ‘soak up the sun on the beach’ kind or more of a ‘let’s hike up the mountains’ type, you’re covered either way!
Access to Quality Healthcare
The city has a robust healthcare system with top-notch hospitals. Speaking of hospitals, McLeod Health and MUSC Health Florence Medical Center are power players here. In fact, McLeod Health is a bit of a big deal with several awards under its belt for premium healthcare.
Let’s not forget about the pharmacies and wellness centers. Florence boasts several of these too. So when you’re feeling under the weather or need to pick up some meds, these guys are at your service.
Rich History and Culture
Florence offers some cool and interesting ways to take a trip down memory lane. Take the War Between the States Museum, for example. It’s like stepping into a time machine! It houses an impressive array of artifacts from the Civil War, all carefully preserved to enlighten us about the intricacies of one of the most defining periods in American history.
Florence’s cultural scene presents a colorful mix of the arts and heritage. From the Florence County Museum which showcases local and regional artists to the Florence Symphony Orchestra, you’ll get your cultural fix in no time. And let’s not forget the annual South Carolina Pecan Festival, no better way to mingle with the locals, enjoy good music, and munch on some tasty pecan treats.
Stepping right into the world of academia, Florence has well-established public and private primary and secondary schools. And if you believe knowledge helps culture bloom, then the area’s museums and libraries have your back.
But what about higher education, you ask? Florence is home to two higher education institutions. Florence-Darlington Technical College offers a number of technical and vocational degrees. Then there’s Francis Marion University. It’s more of a classic 4-year college, unlocking the doors to an array of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
If you’re not a fan of either freezing winters or blazing hot summers, you might find Florence, SC to be your sweet spot. It’s got an average temperature that hovers around the 60s.
So yes, the climate in Florence is like a well-behaved puppy, generally mild and rarely too extreme.
Low Crime Rate
Safety is one of the top factors when considering a place to set up a home. And Florence, SC, has a lower crime rate compared to the national average. The overall crime rate in Florence is 28% lower than the national average. That means fewer worries for you when you’re taking late-night strolls or leaving your home unattended.
Diverse Job Opportunities
You might find it pleasing to hear that Florence offers a variety of job sectors. You can find jobs in healthcare, education, retail, and manufacturing to name a few.
McLeod Regional Medical Center is one of the largest employers in Florence. They offer jobs in various medical disciplines, right from clinical roles to administrative positions. So whether you’re good with a scalpel or a spreadsheet, there’s something for you.
That’s not all. Major employers also include education system providers like Florence School District 1 and Francis Marion University. So if you’ve got a knack for teaching or enjoy facilitating the learning process, you’re covered.
Factories more your style? Pee Dee region (which includes Florence) is home to a couple of manufacturing giants like General Electric and Honda. They’ve got plenty of opportunities for folks like you looking to work with their hands.
Cons of Living in Florence, SC
Limited Shopping Selection
Florence, SC isn’t exactly the mecca for hardcore shoppers.
Big-name brands? You might just have to take that extra bit of journey to reach them. Yes, to get your hands on the latest trends from high-end fashion brands, your best bet might be a trip to a larger city.
For daily needs? Supermarkets and several good old stores are there to save the day. So, you’re not going to starve or run out of toilet paper. But when it comes to those retail therapy sessions, you may find your choices rather limited.
Limited Higher Education Options
With its few higher education institutes, Florence falls behind some of the larger South Carolinian cities.
Although it’s got Francis Marion University, which does a decent job of providing undergraduate and graduate programs, Doctorates, Masters, stuff that requires a lot of variety and sophistication, maybe a little more than what these institutions can offer.
Limited Public Transportation
It’s not like there is no public transportation – there is, but it is somewhat restricted. If you’re eyeing the idea of giving up your car and depending solely on public transportation, you might want to rethink your plans.
With limited bus routes and a lack of other public options, like subways or large-scale taxi services, travel can get tricky if you don’t own a vehicle.
Weather and Natural Disasters
Florence, South Carolina, does have some bad weather conditions. Thunderstorms can crack on pretty regularly in the summer months. These can include heavy rain, strong winds, and – you guessed it – lightning. A good quality umbrella might be a smart addition to your shopping list.
Also, South Carolina is, unfortunately, part of the ‘Hurricane Alley’. A tight hug with the Atlantic Ocean exposes it to the risk of hurricanes, especially between June and November.
Yet, let’s be clear, despite the potential threat, in the past, Florence hasn’t been a favorite spot for hurricanes to hang out. But, as they say, it’s always better to play it safe, stay informed, and be prepared.
Mosquitoes and Humidity
Florence has a fair amount of these tiny nuisances, especially during the warmer months. It’s not an every day, everywhere problem, but it’s something to be mindful of.
Then there is humidity. If you’re someone who can be best friends with your AC, no worries. Florence, SC, gets its fair share of humid days in the summer. To be precise, approximately 60% of summer days experience 60% or higher humidity.
Limited Job Growth in Certain Industries
With its thriving economy in many sectors, there’s no denying you can easily set up shop or punch the clock in numerous fields. But remember this, not all industries here are bathing in the sunshine. Certain sectors, like tech and renewable energy, are moving at a slower pace.
Understandably, as you’re considering putting down roots, you’d prefer a place that offers diverse job growth, no matter your profession.
Is Florence, SC a Good Place to Live?
Florence, SC, is well-suited for living, raising a family, or retiring due to its affordable living costs, low crime rate, access to quality education, and availability of jobs.
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