Columbia has the esteemed designation of being the capital of South Carolina. Beyond that label, the city attracts visitors and residents to its borders for many other reasons.
You’ll find Fort Jackson’s military base, plenty of historical monuments and “firsts,” and the tallest trees east of the Mississippi.
As the fifth-fastest growing state in America, Columbia attracts thousands of people looking for short-term furnished apartments. Finding one can be a challenge when you don’t know which areas suit your needs.
We’re here to help. To do that, we present you with this guide on everything you need to know to find the perfect home for your stay in Columbia.
Popular Areas to Live in Columbia
There are plenty of nearby cities with excellent suburban and rural neighborhoods. The question is whether you want to live in town or in a subdivision, like Brookhaven.
Columbia merges traditional southern hospitality with modern-day living. It’s also nestled amid other impressive cities, giving residents more options to choose from without straying far.
Columbia was recently rated number nine in the nation for economic growth. Businesses and industries continue to build, and the developments spread, creating new and bigger neighborhoods.
Temporary and permanent military residents often prefer to live in Brookhaven because it’s a quick drive to Fort Jackson. The suburban northeast Columbia community also offers easy driving distance to shopping and schools.
If you can’t get into Brookhaven, never fear! There are multiple other excellent places that are just as high-quality.
Olde Woodlands is conveniently near the University of SC Medical Center and the local VA Hospital.
Cayce is a small town close to the Riverwalk, where residents and visitors can fish, hike, and relax.
Despite being rural, Cayce has a high hospitality and tourism industry. That’s not all; they also offer retail, wholesale, transportation, and warehousing employment opportunities.
Another quiet town option if you enjoy living near water, as the town lies along Lake Murray. Biking, fishing, boating, and other nature activities are on the schedule for many short- and long-term residents.
Whether you’re looking for suburban, city, or rural living, East and West Columbia have what you want. The next step is to decide the type of short-term rental space ideal for you.
Related: Full Guide to Rental Options for Healthcare Professionals
What to Look for in Your Short-Term Rental
Narrowing down the neighborhood gets you a little closer to your new home.
Now comes the fun part:
Decide what you want it to look like and include.
This is where your individual preferences come into play.
What’s your reason for moving to Columbia, and how long will you be there? What will you want to do while you’re a temporary resident?
Choosing Your Property Type
Military personnel will likely want to be close to Fort Jackson where your Armed Forces discounts apply. Landlords and rental agreements in the area are usually based on your Basic Housing Allowance (BHA). You know these places have to meet government requirements, and they’re in your budget.
Those in the healthcare professions need homes conveniently located in the medical district. Most of these are in Lexington and West Columbia.
The type of corporate housing you’ll need in those two industries depends on if you’re living alone or with a family. University students can also rent studio apartments or look for single-home units to share with others.
Narrowing Down Homes by Essential Amenities
Your priority is the neighborhood. Proximity to your main destinations, like your job and schools, will save you time and money in the long run.
However, other amenities on-site make your stay more enjoyable.
As you search for homes and apartments for rent, you’ll see many of them have similar floor plans and price ranges based on square footage (sq ft). Narrow your options by focusing on the amenities.
Wants Versus Needs
Make a list of your must-haves and another list of your wants. Maybe a three-bedroom apartment would be nice, but you won’t settle for less than a two.
Consider questions like these as you create your essentials list:
- Do you need a fitness center and a pool, or are they nice additions that you might or might not use?
- Do you have a pet or plan to get one and need pet-friendly places?
- Is air conditioning a dealbreaker?
- Do you want an in-unit washer and dryer, or are on-site laundry facilities acceptable?
Compare the potential rentals with your must-have list and cross off any that don’t include the essentials. Then, use your “want” list to take your search down to the last few candidates.
With these specific addresses in mind, you can dig deeper into the conveniences and facilities around the home.
Learn more: What to Look For in Furnished Short Term Rentals
Conveniences and Facilities
If you’ve ever lived in the “back forty,” you know that it’s hard to get conveniences when you’re off the beaten track.
These rural homes have advantages for people who want to avoid traffic, neighbors, and noise. They’re less ideal if you wish for modern-day conveniences (e.g., delivery services, high-speed WiFi, and nearby shopping options).
Then there’s the concern of emergency services. How quickly can you get help if you need it?
What’s Available in Your Neighborhood?
The following is what you can expect to find in our four main neighborhoods: Olde Woodlands, Cayce, Irmo, and Brookhaven.
This historic neighborhood stretches between I-77 and Rosewood Drive. It’s the go-to area for people who want to be near the VA hospital, University of South Carolina, or Fort Jackson — so it’s an in-demand spot.
Due to its popularity, you’ll be able to receive the most conveniences in your Olde Woodlands home. Shandon, Forest Hills, Rosewood, and Cottontown are similar nearby neighborhoods if you can’t find a rental here.
In all these areas, delivery services like Instacart, Grubhub, and Doordash will take care of your food and grocery needs. Lockhart Power Company supplies electricity, and multiple internet service providers cover the location.
Public facilities include parks on Rosewood Drive, nearby Brandon Avenue, and Shandon. You’ll have plenty of choices of playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, and civic centers.
Cayce is a strategic area that provides public services for the cities and interstates surrounding it. The local government prioritizes updating Cayce with the safest, most effective infrastructures and technology.
Cayce has plenty of historical museums and monuments. One you may have heard of is Fort Granby, a trading post dating back to the American Revolution.
The city is partly in Richmond County and partly in Lexington County, so the service providers you’ll have depend on the location of your home. Mid-Carolina Electric is the primary utility company.
Unless you live in the very back rural areas of Cayce, you’ll have various ISP options, grocery delivery, and takeout services available.
The most popular public facility here is undoubtedly the Cayce Riverwalk Park. It extends along the Congaree River and is a beloved relaxation and exercise spot for both residents and tourists. You’ll also have Granby Gardens, Glenwood Park, and many other pavilions and recreation areas nearby to enjoy.
Irmos is firmly ensconced in both Lexington and Richmond Counties. In the 1970s, the town had a population of 500, and the slow growth and careful planning led it to receive the label “One of the Safest Cities in South Carolina.”
Irmo also has one of the top school districts in the state, Lexington Richmond District 5. This makes it the preferred place to live for parents of school-aged children.
The blend of nature and suburban living is a draw, as well. Irmo covers the ground between Lake Murray and Harbison State Forest. Because some homes are deep in the woods, check your favorite delivery service providers to see if they handle the specific address.
Mid-Carolina Electric handles the majority of the utilities. Viasat, HughesNet, and Spectrum will be your primary ISP providers (some addresses also receive CenturyLink and AT&T).
The town maintains three public parks:
- Community Park of Irmo
- Irmo Town Park
- Irmo Veteran’s Park
These are open for picnics, recreation, and special events.
Brookhaven is known for its family-friendly living and nearby amenities. I-77, Sandhills Mall, and other shops are close to the neighborhood, with new businesses opening regularly.
The community holds around 3,500 residents, many of whom are military personnel. You can get to Fort Jackson in under ten minutes from Brookhaven and schools, malls, and restaurants in the same amount of time.
Brookhaven is technically in Blythewood, so your delivery and service providers will be Blythewood-focused. Your utility company will likely be Fairfield Electric Cooperative, but it depends on your address. ISP providers include AT&T and Spectrum, with others available in certain areas.
Richmond County handles the public facilities in and around Brookhaven. As a resident, you’ll enjoy access to Blythewood Park, where you (or your kids) can play sports, take part in activities at the rec center, or relax in the fresh air.
How Travelers Haven Can Welcome You to Columbia
It’s one thing to choose the ideal neighborhood for your next move. It’s another to find a place in that area that offers flexible short-term furnished rentals.
That’s where Travelers Haven becomes the answer to your problem. Our workforce housing on-demand experts have the connections to place you in a customized home with flexible rental agreements.
When you work with Travelers Haven, you’re getting a team that focuses solely on your preferences. No detail is too small, from your preferred neighborhood and budget all the way to kitchen utensils or walk-in closets.
Here’s how we at Travelers Haven can put you in the temporary home of your dreams in Columbia, SC:
You fill out the basic information form that gives us an idea of what you’re looking for (loft, condo, townhome, etc.).
We will contact you after you submit the form and get more details about your needs.
Is a pet-friendly apartment necessary? Do you want to be in a downtown Columbia apartment, or would a suburban location be fine? How personalized do you want your new home?
We take your specifications and use our vast network to find your new home. After we map out a few ideal options, we pass them over to you for the final decision.
As soon as you select your temporary housing, we do the rest. By the time you’re ready to move in, we’ll have your washer and dryer hooked up, your furniture in place, and your utilities set up.
Rent, utilities, and extras are all included in one flat monthly rate with our bundled billing service. It’s easy to see why putting your next home in the hands of Travelers Haven’s experts takes the stress out of the task.
Essential Facts to Know About Columbia
Nicknamed “Soda City” for its abbreviation of “Cola,” Columbia is growing fast with over 150,000 people occupying nearly 150 square miles.
The more you know about the city, the better equipped you are to figure out where you want to move.
Military, Healthcare, and Student Living
For the most part, the population includes residents in top-growing industries like military, healthcare, and university life.
Veterans and active-duty military personnel are stationed at or near the Fort Jackson Army base. A prominent fort of this size means many perks for members of the Armed Forces — including flexible housing opportunities.
Healthcare facilities are on the rise all over the country, and Columbia is keeping up. The first children’s hospital in the state started in Columbia. Veterans can receive top-quality health services in the city, and behavioral health centers are growing in number.
Columbia hosts well-known universities, such as the University of South Carolina and Columbia International University. With tens of thousands of students every year, surrounding landlords have to be flexible with their policies.
Discover: 9 Steps to Find an Internship that Offers Housing
Columbia is excellent for military or student housing, healthcare facilities, or a quiet suburban neighborhood. Yet, renters needing flexible extended stay leasing can face challenges finding an ideal home and the right terms in a contract.
Let Travelers Haven do the hard work for you. We’ll build your Columbia, SC furnished apartment or townhouse from scratch.
Whether you want to find houses for rent or stay in luxury apartments for the foreseeable future, Travelers Haven will make it happen. All you have to do is imagine your dream home and describe it, and we will take care of the rest!