The Pros and Cons of Living in Myrtle Beach

As I have now spent a year in Myrtle Beach, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the city. I really like it here and have enjoyed exploring it over the past 12 months. Although the positives far outweigh the negatives, for the purpose of this blog post I am going to keep it even. On this beautiful Sunday I wish to provide you with my top three pros and top three cons of living in Myrtle Beach.

PROS:

Weather – Some people like it hot. Well, count me in as one of them. When I moved here, everyone told me that the southern humidity would cripple me. It never did. While it was a little bit of an adjustment to get used to the different type of air, I never felt as if I was drowning. The high temperatures and abundant sunshine that accompanies the humidity is right down my alley. I am the type of guy that doesn’t mind 100 degree temperatures three months out of the year.

However, it took Halloween for me to really realize how much I love the climate of Myrtle Beach. I was running a social media promotion outside on campus at CCU for the entire day. Throughout the whole morning and afternoon the sun elegantly shined down on us. The 80 degree day contrasted with the cold, windy, gloomy, snowy days of past Halloweens out west.

The weather in Myrtle Beach provides opportunities to enjoy summer activities throughout most of the year instead of just during July and August.

The weather in Myrtle Beach provides opportunities to enjoy summer activities throughout most of the year instead of just during July and August.

The Beach – They don’t put the second word in the city that I live in for nothing. I have grown to really love the ocean and marvel at its magnificence. I can drive five minutes from my apartment and be on a beautiful, non-tourist beach. I have started many weekend mornings this way and the peace I get from it is very nourishing. Since arriving here, I have explored other beaches in the area too and always find comfort knowing that I enjoy living in an area where others go to vacation.

The beach is beautiful and calming. It is definitely one of my favorite aspects of living here.

The beach is beautiful and calming. It is definitely one of my favorite aspects of living here.

Geographic Location – The city that I live in is also great because it provides me lots of options when I want to get away from it for a day or two. Because of the location of Myrtle Beach, I am able to travel to a whole host of really cool places. Both North and South Carolina have many historical and charming cities that I can get to in no time. Two of Georgia’s best cities, Atlanta and Savannah, are located relatively close to Myrtle Beach. You go a little more south and you are in Florida! Up north the options are numerous as cities like Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia are just a day’s drive away. Location location location!

Not long after arriving in Myrtle Beach, Sidney and I traveled to Atlanta to watch some baseball and to explore the city.

Not long after arriving in Myrtle Beach, Sidney and I traveled to Atlanta to watch some baseball and to explore the city.

CONS

Traffic – During tourist season, traffic can become a little frustrating. A notorious highway in Myrtle Beach that is necessary to travel on to get to many places becomes a standstill. Vacationers not familiar with the area make boneheaded mistakes that back up traffic. Rush hour becomes a nightmare. Since I go to work very early in the morning and because I use an alternative route going home at night, I do a pretty good job at avoiding the worst of it. However, I still spend my fair share of time in traffic every now and then. I may or may not yell at my imaginary passenger when I really need to be somewhere and instead I am stopped behind a line of 500 cars.

Hellish Roadways – If the traffic on the roads wasn’t enough, the debris that somehow land on them really makes commuting in Myrtle Beach a challenge from time to time. I don’t know what it is, but I have never driven in a city that has more crap on the roads than in MB. Any given day I dodge road kill, garbage, lumber, plants, nails, and remnants from other vehicles. It really is an obstacle course out there. One dark morning I ran over a gigantic log, popping my tire instantaneously. I am scared to enter into turning lanes because these places usually have the most random junk ready to derail your vehicle. If you could see the hodgepodge of items that end up in the roads here you would be very surprised.

Allergies – I had no idea I was susceptible to allergies until I moved to South Carolina. As I mentioned in Thursday’s blog post, I spent most of April putting up with a nasty cough, constant watery eyes, and a bothersome runny nose. The pollen here really does impact your system. When I first moved here I quietly dismissed the people who told me it might take some getting used to but now as I look back on it they were right.

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As I said, even though I described three positives and three negatives, the good definitely outweighs the bad. I didn’t even mention the people, the restaurants, the shopping options, the mini golf, the BBQ, and the numerous other characteristics that make Myrtle Beach such a great place to live. In a year from now, I am sure I will have even more positives to add to the list. Don’t Blink.

49 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Living in Myrtle Beach

  1. Hi there, I just read you pros and cons about myrtle beach. I am seriously thinking about moving there. I love the weather and the beach! I live in Pittsburgh and I am DONE with the winters. I was wondering how the cost of living is down there and also the amount of jobs available. I would want to move into a house rather then an apartment. Thanks keep updating the beach life!

    • Forget about employment down here. Unless you’re a waiter or waitress. I am a nurse but I do mental health there are no mental health facilities down here thus all the crime that we have. I built a home here 10 years ago and I only come a couple months out of the year and I have to resort to travel nursing to make a living. Very few jobs, when you do get one the pay sucks & poor benefits. Unless you’re retired consider somewhere else. Most of the shopping is on route 17 in either North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach and has 10% sales tax. You have a yearly personal tax on your vehicle which can run a couple hundred dollars a year homes are cheaper but so is the quality taxes are definitely lower auto insurance is lower than up north everything else is the same some things are more expensive than New Jersey for example veterinarian lawyers landscapers Handyman Roofer plumbers. I’m trying to get myself out of here Myrtle Beach may be ok to visit but not till this. I don’t really understand the appeal if I had come down here for just one week in my life that would have been enough way too much crime way too much home invasions etc

      • I’m hoping to move south and considering the Grand Strand or Wilmington, NC area. Is there any decent area around there that’s not out in the country, and without dangerous debris on roads, crime, etc? Also wondering how Babb Custom Homes really is. We’re terrified as we haven’t been able to visit the area since the 1960’s but we’re open to any ranch style single home, maybe a first floor condo. Another requirement is private parking for 2 cars. We’re also open to a senior community but absolutely no HOA’s. 🙂

  2. Hi! I am interested in moving down there as well. Are there good ethnic restaurants to eat there? How are housing prices there for a 1500-2000sq house? Thank you!

    • Hope you see this… I’m about 8-12 months from relocating; finally to somewhere I WANT to be vs tied down by birth and career! I’miss mid 40s and ready to start a new career and have held MB as a very distant 3rd or 4th pick after NYC, Daytona Beach, and possibly Miami. NYC owns my heart but come on man, the cost of living there is OUTRAGEOUS!! SOOOOOoooo, there’s goes pick #1. My 2nd pick is my all time favorite, Daytona Beach but that adds a little more distance from my Indiana family. Therefore, MB comes in as my #3 and seemingly most viable option….although I’ve always seen MB as a smaller version of Daytona. Tell me this: 1) What is winter like and what I mean is just how “bad” is Dec-Feb compared to a location further south such as Daytona/Orlando 2) What careers are actually growing in MB 3) Have the average, median homes fallen victim to neighbor deterioration 4) Where are the NON tourists beaches located @MB???? My favorite part of Daytona is actually a small, old time beach town named Flagler Beach….completely empty beaches and no big box stores and no hotels with ONLY mom/pop stores. Where @MB do you find this setting???

      • I’m leaning towards Orlando/Lake Mary mostly because of climate. MB they say is chilly but not usually freezing during winter days. I expect Orlando is a little chilly but not normally cold in winter. I was in St. Augustine, in northern FL on the beach in April one year and it was like summer, just not uncomfortable. I was on a fishing boat and got sun-poisoning. It was quite chilly at that time in PA.

  3. Hi, my husband and I are going to be moving down to Myrtle Beach to retire. We are thinking about the Palmetto Point Apts. Do you know anything about that area? Thankyou, Beverly

    • Hi Beverly – I researched the Palmetto Pointe apartments online but never visited them. I live in the Alexan Withers Apartments and absolutely love it. I do have a co-worker who lives in Palmetto Pointe and he says it is nice.

    • I lived in them when they were first being built. They’re a low income housing area. If you can afford it buy a condo in one of the near by neighborhoods. You’ll be happier for it.

    • I have been living in Palmetto Pointe Apartment Homes for 13 years and I love it. However, it is becoming quite congested …………….many more housing developments and apartment complexes have been built since I first moved here from NY. And there are appr. 26 police officers who live in the complex so it is quite safe.

  4. Allegies?? The beach works wonders for my seasonal allergies. I remember being in a parking garage and there was that yellow pollen everywhere, not one sneeze or itchy eyes. The closer I got to Columbia, SC (the middle to the State) it got worse. Guess it depends on the person and they type of allergies.

  5. Thank you for your insight! We moved there 18 months ago and have the same pros and cons, except no allergies! My pet peeve is the trash along the roads! Are people idiots? Find a fricking trash can already!

  6. We lived in Surfside Beach for 10 years a great place! The Grand Strand has way too many people in such a small area. Myrtle Beach did a survive on people relocating there, and found out they only stay an average of 3-5 years and then return to where they came from

    • Well I came down here with a job so I never really “tested the market.” I think salaries are actually competitive and that is a good thing because cost of living is less down here than other places around the country.

  7. Hi, I too am moving to South Carolina. Reading your blog has me concerned about crime and employment.
    I am on Disability, but my son will be looking for general employment and hopes to become an X-Ray Tech.
    Any info on the market for that type of work/schooling?
    Is the crime as bad as your readers have indicated?

  8. I’m actually trying to do some traveling for a few months and was just course if this is a good area this time of year to camp?

  9. Hi Brent – thanks for the insight. My husband and I and two children are relocating from the ‘burbs of Chicago soon. He just landed a job where he can work from home from anywhere. My in laws are already down there, and it has been a dream of ours to move away from the brutal winters of Chicago and live near the beach (live where you vacation, right?) Do you know anything about the schools there? Research has shown some have super high ratings, but being a school teacher myself, I know there are more factors involved than a grade on a real estate site. Don’t know if you still update this page, but stumbled across it in my research of the area. Thanks much!

  10. My husband and I are also planning on moving to SC. I want Myrtle Beach but after reading these posts, I am not so sure. We will be there the week of May 7th and I have a bunch of properties to look at. How is the crime in Conway, Mullins, and Tabor City? We are from Maine and am just so sick of snow and measuring the accumulation of snow in feet instead of inches! I have been the manager of a credit union branch office for 20 years, my husband is a logger by trade but has several other qualifications such as operating heavy equipment, truck driving and mechanic work. We are only in our early 50’s so we will need to work a little longer. Are we taking on more than we can chew or do we just bite the bullet and go anyway? lol Thanks for any help you can give.
    Debbie Berry

    • Hi Debbie,
      I stumbled upon this blog myself and thought I’d put in some feedback. I moved down to Myrtle Beach from NY 13 years ago after losing my job up there and having retired parents down here. The crime rate in Myrtle Beach is high because it’s considered a transient city; people are either tourists or people who move here for a short time and then move on to another location. The closer to the tourist areas you go (the beach and around Ocean Blvd.) the higher the crime rates. You’ll find in the residential areas it’s lower.
      As for employment, it’s mostly a tourist town. So many places only hire seasonal workers and lay them off after Labor Day. There isn’t any industry; it’s mostly hospitality, health care, and retail. And you’ll find that the pay scale is about half of what it is up North. Unless you’re in Sales or a profession other than what I stated earlier.
      I’m in my late 40’s and just purchased a home; there is a huge housing boom going on. But unfortunately, that also means a lot of deforestation and a lot more traffic to deal with.
      Don’t know if any of that helps, but let me know if you have any other questions.
      Paula

  11. Debbie, we are from Ohio and moved to SC 8 years ago. We are in our late 50s now and live in Conway and drive 45-65 minutes to our jobs in Florence. I don’t see any reason why both you and your spouse could not find employment here. There is a lot of logging and we have banks and credit unions as much as anywhere else. We feel as though our “northern” work ethic has given us an advantage and we’ve done well here. I’m familiar with the crime stats but just don’t see it. It’s never affected us. We appreciate the climate and do not regret our decision to relocate from Ohio.

    • So encourage to read your post. We are in Ohio, upper 50s, and getting ready to perhaps take the plunge and move to Little River area. Do you have ant insights please?

    • I had started a thread for newcomers and hopefuls to MB around 2011 on a website. It ran for 9 months and everyone there advised avoiding Conway (as well as MB city and one other beach town I can’t remember). If Conway is now desirable, what’s changed and when?

  12. My husband and I have always loved the beach. We vacation mostly at Myrtle beach and have always loved it. We currently live in Virginia in a small town and that is all I have ever known. I grew up here. I always think I’m the back of my mind there has to be something more than this. Before we are to old we are thinking about moving to Myrtle beach but we have 3 small kids and are worried about the crime rate. It has to be a lot more than what we deal with here. So with that being said it has kept us from leaving our home in Va to what we have dreamed of. Any suggestions anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Jamie! We are in a similar situation but here in Illinois. We have 2 kids who are 4 and 7. I think I commented awhile ago but not sure if I got a response about schools, crime, etc. Your situation sounds most similar to ours. I know we’ve gone back and forth on it as well, so I totally understand what you guys are going through.

    • We had to homeschool our son as have a number of families. The schools are way behind no matter what they say. Plus I did not want my son forced by the teacher to pray to Allah, as she was doing in a Blue Ribbon School

    • My friends have lived in Carolina Farms for about 5 years and I don’t think they regret it.. They have two girls age 5 and 10. Not sure if the live in MB but their mailing address is in MB.

  13. Hello All,
    I moved here a year ago from RI, and the weather is great but living in Carolina Forest is a traffic nightmare. Not to mention there have been multiple break-ins to vehicles and homes. There is a lot of crime and sex trafficking on the news. I miss the small town feel we are used to. On a more positive note, there is plenty to do.

  14. Crime rate is considerably higher than 2 years ago. Constantly accosted by pan handlers, reminds be of the 8th ave area in NYC in the 80’s. The county council just raised property taxes and we have less police than 10 years ago. Our homeowners & auto insurance have increased by 18-23%. It took my son 1400 applications to get 4 interviews and 1 job offer @$8.00 hour 12-20 hours a week. More restaraunts have closed & the few chain/franchise ones are meant for tourists. Road expansion is supposed to start soon but tax was raised 1% on everything claiming tourists would pay it. The NC & GA beaches are cleaner and larger.

    Unless you are independently wealthy a minimum wage job with no or little benefits is what you are looking at. Also the nightclubs and non-tourist things are gone. Even most golf courses are shuttered. Major chains that just built are pulling out. It’s not the nice rose colored glass place others have painted it. What you don’t read or see is the real truth.

  15. My husband and I are looking for a suitable place to retire. Not sure we are ready for Florida yet, but definitely someplace near the water. All of the information on this site has been helpful. Very concerned about the most recent comments though. Anyone out there still happy about living in the Myrtle Beach area? If so, why?

    • From everything I’ve read, MB is not the place for us. Love the choices of homes, but very concerned about the quality of life there. I guess we’ll keep looking in other areas.

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  17. Thanks for the list of pro’s and cons Brent, very interesting. My husband Jack and I bought a condo in North Myrtle Beach in 2011 and have been renting it out. We plan on retiring early and moving down there hopefully end of this year or early 2019. We have been going down twice a year since we owned the place and love it down there. We almost bought in Fort Lauderdale, but think we are happy with purchasing in Myrtle Beach and looking forward to moving there soon.

  18. Thanks for a positive comment. My wife and I are looking at condos in North Myrtle as well. Want to rent it out and then retire there in 5 years. Any suggestions, nice complex’s, complexes to avoid? Or any other helpful hints because you’re further down our road? Thanks

    • Hi Jack,
      Are you familiar with Myrtle Beach area? We bought near the Arcadia area and absolutely love it. We are close to everything, but our complex is very quiet. The place we bought in allows rentals, which helped pay our mortgage for the past seven years. We are walking distance to the beach as well, around 3 blocks. Where are you moving from?

  19. How hard is it to actually get a job and keep it year round? I’m considering moving to myrtle beach at some point. I love the beach and would love to live where I vacation.