American Dream (copy) (copy)

A new study spells out the cost of owning the American Dream in South Carolina and across the U.S. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff

You’re seeing the Post and Courier's weekly real estate newsletter. Receive all the latest transactions and top development, building, and home and commercial sales news to your inbox each Saturday here.

How much money does it take to live the American dream in SC?

Living the American dream of owning your own home is most likely more affordable in the South, according to a new study. 

A couple with two children, a pet, a car and a house need to earn at least close to $108,000 to make that dream come true, at least in Mississippi, the state with the lowest housing prices, according to GoBankingRates.

In South Carolina, which ranks No. 8 lowest, the price rises to nearly $123,000.

The firm said necessities should make up 50 percent of the cost while 30 percent should go to discretionary spending and 20 percent to savings to realize the actual American dream.

Based on that formula, the following amounts should be spent in the Palmetto State.

• Annual grocery cost: $11,910

• Annual pet care cost: $834

• Annual car cost: $8,315

• Annual healthcare cost: $5,920

• Annual utility cost: $5,608

• Annual education cost: $2,583

• Annual child care cost: $13,013

• Annual mortgage cost: $13,116

• Total annual costs: $61,299

Doubled for discretionary spending and savings, the true cost of the American dream in South Carolina comes to $122,598 per year.

Neighboring Georgia comes in at No. 15 at roughly $129,000 while North Carolina is No. 21 at about $135,000.

The most expensive state is Hawaii, where income needs to be nearly $207,000 for a couple with two children, a house, a car and a pet.

The only state not in the South or bordering the South in the top 10 is South Dakota, which ranks No. 9 at just over $123,000 in required income to live the American dream.

The firm used multiple variables and then adjusted them for each state.

"Moving to a region with a cheaper cost of living might just help you attain your own version of the American dream," the study concluded.

Want to receive this newsletter in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up for free.

Apartment construction

Apartment construction continues across the Charleston region and rates dipped slightly for the first time in two years across the U.S., according to a new study. File/Staff

Rents fall for first time in 2 years in Charleston, U.S., study says

Monthly rental rates rose at least $125 on average nationally since early 2017, so any decrease, however small, will be welcome news to apartment dwellers. 

By the numbers

6: Number of ailing Charleston-area Burger King restaurants that closed earlier this week as part of a franchisee's bankruptcy filing. More commercial space suddenly became available.

104: Number of leases signed in the 350-unit 10 WestEdge building anchored by Publix supermarket on the Charleston peninsula.

Get the best of the Post and Courier's Real Estate news, handpicked and delivered to your inbox each Saturday.

2.4: Millions of dollars paid by Nikki Haley, former S.C. governor and U.N. ambassador, for a house on Kiawah Island.

This week in real estate

+ Air rights: Charleston County Aviation Authority wants to buy the airspace over 4 acres of privately owned property on Dorchester Road to restrict apartment development on the site. The parcel sits on the landing and approach zone of one of the runways at Charleston International Airport.

History-making: The 45-room Saint Hotel rising on East Bay Street in Charleston had to put its 30 tightly packed parking spaces underground, a first for below-sea-level parking in Charleston and in South Carolina.

+ Turf war: Charleston hospitals challenge MUSC's plans to build a medical facility in Nexton in Berkeley County.

Early test: A Charleston apartment building wants to turn about half of its rooms into hotel space, an effort that will fall under the city's new lodging guidelines if it moves forward.

Falling beach houses

Erosion from Tropical Storm Irma further damaged this beachfront house on Harbor Island. It was demolished in April 2018, and now, the Harbor Island Owners' Association is suing the state to raze or move five more houses. Provided/Don Woelke

Who should remove ruined beach houses falling into the ocean?

A group of coastal residents is suing the state of South Carolina to demolish or move damaged beach houses.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Property management: A pre-licensing course for property managers is being offered by the Charleston Apartment Association.

  • Looking ahead: Real estate professionals will get a look ahead at what's in store next year during the commercial market forecast on Wednesday. Price: $35-$65.

Charleston-area transactions

Did a friend forward you this email? Subscribe here.

Craving more? Check out all of the Post and Courier's newsletters here.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.