Breaking Boroughs: A guide to off-campus housing

A map of the Charleston peninsula.

Every Charleston borough has a unique character. Which is best for you?

Over 10,000 students attend the College of Charleston, but the number of available dorm rooms on campus is not enough for even half of this population, pushing many students to look for housing elsewhere on the peninsula – some as early as freshman year. When it comes time to find the perfect place for you and your roommates to live, quite a bit must be taken into consideration. Do you want to live at the party house in Cannonborough, or the Pinterest house in Harleston Village? How far do you want to be from campus? What kinds of houses and residents do you want in your neighborhood?

These questions are just the beginning of your search, and everyone has to start somewhere. Do not fear, for it can all seem very overwhelming, but with the right criteria and mindset everything will go smoothly.

Advice from Robert Jordan, Broker-in-Charge of Jordan Reality in Charleston

7 easy steps to finding the right off-campus home for you:

1. Start Early

  • Begin gathering your thoughts over the holiday break in December

2. Find your roommate(s)

  • Choose people with similar habits, likes and dislikes as your own
  • Choose wisely, for you will be living together for at least a year

3. Determine ALL of your criteria

  • Number of bedrooms and baths
  • Location
  • Budget
  • Parking
  • Amenities

4. Start your search

  • Begin with people you currently know who are planning to graduate or move out of their houses
  • CofC ResLife page, Craigslist, Facebook, or Instagram
  • Walk around, look at signs, and take down phone numbers

5. Involve everyone, especially your parents

  • Share all the locations you are looking at with your parents
  • Let them be involved and weigh in on your decisions
  • Ensure that all parties involved remain on the same page

6. Ask the current tenants the right questions

  • Ask the people who know best: Do you feel safe? Generally, how much are utilities?
  • Is your landlord reliable? How do you get back and forth from campus?

7. Settle on a place for the right reasons

  • Make your decisions based on what is best for you and everyone involved
  • You want to be comfortable and happy
Those living in Cannonborough or Elliotborough can expect to be within an earshot of a party Thursday through Saturday night. (Photo by Kate Power)

Those living in Cannonborough or Elliotborough can expect to be within an earshot of a party Thursday through Saturday night. (Photo by Kate Power)

Cannonborough or Elliotborough

  • Spring
  • Cannon
  • Smith
  • Bogard

Description: Students living in Cannonborough tend to have their priorities in order – their drinking priorities, that is. Expect to be within earshot of a party Thursday through Sunday. Living here also guarantees ease of access to the oh so popular bars on upper King, so if walking to Midtown and not having to worry about paying six dollars for an Uber to get home at the end of the night sounds ideal, this might be the borough for you.

Price Range: $650-900*

 

 

 

 

Check out Radcliffeborough for on-campus living in an off-campus setting. (Photo by Kate Power)

Check out Radcliffeborough for on-campus living in an off-campus setting. (Photo by Kate Power)

Radcliffeborough 

  • Morris
  • Rutledge
  • Vanderhorst
  • Coming

Description: Definitely the area most concentrated with College of Charleston students – Radcliffeborough is a very popular area to live, especially for those in Greek life, as it can feel a bit like a Greek village. Students are not shy to a party either, so do not expect peace and quiet here. And if Morris is littered with beer cans and guys yelling from their porches, well, just rest easy knowing that nothing is out of the ordinary.

Price Range: $800-1,000

 

Harleston Village is full of perfect little houses modeled after Pinterest photos. (Photo by Kate Power)

Harleston Village is full of perfect little houses modeled after Pinterest photos. (Photo by Kate Power)

Harleston Village

  • Bull St.
  • Wentworth
  • Pitt
  • Smith

Description: For those who want to go to college without living in the typical college house, Harleston Village might be your borough. The perfect little houses on theses streets tend to appeal to those seeking to model their homes after Pinterest photos and Urban Outfitters’ Instagram posts. Students living in Harleston Village might be a bit on the lazier side, as they don’t have to walk very far to get to class. Don’t expect any keggers here, but you might find a girl reading John Green on her porch with a cup of tea in hand.

Price Range: $850-1,000

 

 

 

If you enjoy running and sunning, consider making your future home in Wraggborough. (Photo by Kate Power)

If you enjoy running and sunning, consider making your future home in Wraggborough. (Photo by Kate Power)

Wraggborough 

  • John
  • Charlotte
  • Henrietta

Description: If you’re the type to wake up before your 9:25 a.m. and go for a run or do some morning stretches in Marion Square, you might fit in nicely in Wraggborough. Here is where you will find the frisbee throwers of Marion Square, the dog walkers and the Cooper River Bridge runners. You’ll catch them at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and ENO-ing on their porches. They are tucked away in their little homes, far from the other lazy, contagious college kids.

Price Range: $650-850

 

This article first appeared in the February 2015 issue of The Yard.

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Kate Power is a sophomore at the College and the Feature Editor for CisternYard News. She has been actively involved in journalism since her freshman year in high school and has always had a passion for writing, both journalistically and creatively. Kate is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


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