Located in northwestern South Carolina, Anderson is a small city that sits on the shores of Lake Hartwell and is less than an hour from Greenville. Anderson is also known as “the Electric City” because it was the first city in the world to use alternating current (AC) to power all of its public street lights.
The welcoming and forward-thinking culture of this former “All-America” city has made it a national favorite. Due to its low cost of living and charming southern atmosphere, it was named one of AARP’s “Best Places to Live and Retire Now” in 2021. Anderson is home to people from many walks of life, including retirees and young families.
Here are eight pros and cons of living in Anderson, SC.
Pros of Living in Anderson
1. The cost of living is 15% less than the national average
Compared to the national average, the cost of living in South Carolina is lower by 15%, and it is 4% lower than the national average.
Anderson’s extremely affordable cost of living is only one of the many reasons why the city is attracting so many new residents. Anderson has a median home value of $246,775, which is 33.5% below the national median. While there are some more opulent options, the local house market tops around $600,000.
2. Live in Ashley Downs, Westview Heights or Northlake
There are a select few excellent areas to make your home in Anderson.
Ashley Downs is a terrific place to raise a family because it is safe and has excellent schools in the area. Most of the houses in this neighborhood were built between 1970 and 2000. However, there are also some newer residences here. Many grand mansions and beautiful luxury homes in the South are situated on hills with breathtaking vistas.
Northlake caters to families with its abundance of parks and playgrounds. The lakefront homes in this northeastern corner community are located on the Six and Twenty branch side of Lake Hartwell. There’s a sailing club in the area. Beautiful beachfront houses and grand southern mansions can also be found here.
Lakeside has slightly lower housing costs than neighboring communities without sacrificing quality education. This neighborhood was established in the early 1900s; thus, its homes are a blend of Craftsman, Victorian, and Colonial Revival styles.
Located in the far northwest of the city, Westview Heights is home to a diverse population living in various housing options. Several parks are in close proximity, making this a great choice for anyone who enjoys being outdoors. Southwood Academy of the Arts is in close proximity to the neighborhood.
3. Enjoy 221 sunny days in a year
Anderson, a Southern city, enjoys an above-average number of sunny days, 221 each year. Anderson, like the rest of South Carolina, experiences all four seasons. The average high throughout the summer is from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low during the winter months is between 34 and 53 degrees.
There is little danger of large hurricanes from the east reaching this inland town, though locals can catch the tail end of storms as they weaken and leave the coast. If you move to Anderson, you won’t have to worry too much about snow because the winters are mild, and the temperature rarely gets below freezing. Anderson experiences above-average rainfall all year, so don’t forget your umbrella if you’re planning to relocate here.
4. Work in the medical or educational sector
Anderson County is a fantastic location for people working in the medical, teaching, and manufacturing fields. Anderson University, along with Anderson Medical Center and Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC, is among the top 20 employers in the city.
The unemployment rate in Anderson is at its lowest point since 2007, while the number of jobs in the city is on the rise, increasing by 4.62 percent between 2015 and 2016. With an average of slightly over 17 minutes, many Anderson residents travel outside the city to reach their places of work.
5. Attend TriCounty Technical College or nearby Clemson University
Twenty-two public schools, one charter school, and forty-eight private schools make up Anderson’s 71 schools. High school students have their pick of eight different schools, two of which are public.
Advanced Placement classes and specialized programs in fields like agriculture, food, and natural resources; hospitality and tourism; and business management and administration are just some of the ways in which Westside High School prepares its students for life after high school. Families looking for alternatives to the typical public school system have the option of enrolling their children in private schools like New Covenant and St. Joseph’s Catholic School, both of which have received positive ratings.
Students looking to continue their education beyond high school have excellent options in Anderson and the surrounding area. Business technology, healthcare, and manufacturing are just a few of the areas covered by the curriculum at TriCounty Technical College, while Clemson University also provides Bachelor’s degrees in areas such as accounting, education, and even world cinema.
6. Visit The Anderson Arts Center or The Anderson County Museum
Anderson also boasts a plethora of cultural attractions, such as museums and art galleries.
The Anderson Arts Center was created with the goal of increasing art appreciation in the state of South Carolina. A key component of the city’s cultural, economic, and educational landscape since its inception in 1972. It also has a long tradition of serving the local community by hosting outstanding art exhibitions and educational workshops.
The Anderson County Museum houses nearly 20,000 artifacts, providing a unique perspective on the history of Anderson County and the state of South Carolina. In addition to these relics, visitors can peruse 1,600 books and 2,000 photographs from the museum’s public Research and Reading area.
7. Play water sports at Hartwell Lake or Sadler’s Creek
Anderson’s many lakes, rivers, and streams provide enough opportunities for recreation.
Hartwell Lake is well-known among South Carolinians and tourists alike as a prime destination for fishermen. If you want to see every inch of this peaceful location, the park that surrounds Lake Hartwell has a public access boat ramp and miles of hiking opportunities. Beautiful wooden cabins are available for rent all year round, and strolling the park is a lot of fun.
The Savannah River’s reservoir, Lake Hartwell, can be accessed from Sadlers Creek State Park. There are 37 lakefront campsites accessible here, where visitors can also go animal watching and engage in a variety of water activities. It’s also ideal for parties of all sizes, whether you’re hosting a reunion or celebrating something else.
Cons of Living in Anderson
1. Traffic is a major problem
While it may be a relatively small city, Anderson is part of Anderson County, which faces a huge traffic problem. Because this area is continuously growing, thousands of commuters who travel out to neighboring cities during the weekdays and those who travel to Lake Hartwell on the weekends often experience worsening congestion on the roads.
Those who have spent years monitoring this county’s roads will know that drivers are either having to make adjustments or that governmental efforts are needed to better handle the traffic. Because residential growth is happening so quickly, more and more drivers are on the road.
There are very few faults with Anderson, with its stunning natural features, low cost of living, great schools, rich culture, and fantastic tourist attractions. However, the city has traffic problems, and if you’d rather not be stuck in traffic very often, this city might not be right for you.