Is Little River a Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons Explained
Tucked away at the northernmost tip of the Grand Strand, Little River, SC, is affectionately hailed as a tranquil fishing village. With the sun's early rays painting a picturesque scene, fishing and shrimp boats gracefully navigate the calm Intracoastal Waterway. Beyond its renowned status for fresh seafood, fishing charters, and ancient live oak trees, the town exudes a soothing rhythm of life.
Yet, there's more to love about Little River than just its maritime charm. This burgeoning community is teeming with beautiful homes, welcoming faces, and a vibrant spirit that consistently offers engaging activities.
Whether you're contemplating a potential move or simply intrigued by this enchanting town, join us for an in-depth exploration. We'll delve into the pros and cons, the cost of living, and various aspects to assist you in determining whether Little River could be the perfect place for you to call home.
Pros of Living in Little River, SC
Little River, like any town, presents a mix of pros and cons for potential residents. Fortunately, the scale tips favorably for this Horry County community, with a plethora of reasons why residents adore their life in Little River.
Cost of Living in Little River, SC
Little River stands out for its affordability, with the overall cost of living 8% lower than the national average. Housing costs, particularly, impress with a remarkable 32% below the norm. While slightly less affordable than other parts of Horry County, Little River offers a haven for those seeking lower-cost housing, essential goods, and healthcare. Generally, the greater the distance to the beach, the more affordable, so while Little River is more affordable than say Cherry Grove or North Myrtle Beach, budget-conscious buyers may favor communities further inland, like Longs and Loris.
Low Property Taxes
Residents enjoy the benefits of relatively low property taxes, dropping as low as four percent for primary residences. This contributes to the overall affordability of home ownership, making Little River an appealing destination. Property tax reductions for permanent residents and other tax incentives enhance the town's allure, particularly for those eyeing retirement (see our Retirement Guide for a full breakdown of the financial case for retirement in the Myrtle Beach area).
Strong Local Economy
Little River boasts a stable economy, with a poverty rate of less than 11%, below the national average of 11.4%. Experiencing a post-pandemic boom, the area is transforming from a vacation hotspot to a full-time paradise. Each month witnesses the arrival of new businesses, jobs, and restaurants, enriching the town's landscape.
One of Little River's chief draws is its favorable climate, with temperatures ranging between 50 and 90 degrees for most of the year. Ample sunny days provide opportunities for outdoor activities. Even during the winter months, where temperatures might drop to the 20s or 30s on the coldest nights, the climate swiftly recovers in the spring.
Diverse Food Options
Culinary enthusiasts will delight in Little River's diverse food scene, offering everything from casual eateries to fine dining. The town caters to all tastes, with fresh seafood, specialty pizza, juicy steak, and more. Little River proudly celebrates annual events like the Little River Shrimp Fest and World Famous Blue Crab Festival.
Excellent Medical Facilities
Home to Little River Medical Center, the town offers a renowned community health and dental center providing primary and dental care for the entire family. Additionally, the Grand Strand boasts other highly rated facilities, ensuring residents have easy access to various healthcare services.
Cons of Living in Little River, SC
While Little River has much to offer, like any place, it has its drawbacks. Being aware of the realities of life in the area can help potential residents make informed decisions.
Summer Heat and Humidity
Adapting to Southern living in Little River includes embracing the inevitable heat and humidity, especially during the summer. Despite warm days, the town provides numerous ways to cool down, from boating on the Intracoastal Waterway to a quick dip in the ocean or enjoying a cold beverage at one of the town’s many air-conditioned bars or cafes. Despite the heat, summer remains a favorite time for many locals.
During the tourist season, heavy traffic can be a common challenge, especially on Highway US-17, the main route. Residents plan for early departures and exercise patience when navigating busy roads. Alternative routes and shopping centers off the beaten path provide relief.
While alligators are indigenous to the area, precautions are advised to avoid potential risks. These reptiles may occasionally be seen in yards or crossing streets. Keeping pets on leashes and away from the edges of ponds is recommended to minimize the chances of encountering these fascinating creatures.
Little River FAQ’s
As local real estate experts, we’re accustomed to answering a wide range of questions about Little River, SC. Buyers often start exploring well-known areas like Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, only to fall in love with Little River’s slower pace of life and waterside charm.
How far is Little River, SC from the beach?
Little River is the epitome of coastal living, just a 12-minute drive from Cherry Grove Beach. Public parking and access from Ocean Drive in Myrtle Beach to Cherry Grove Beach make it a convenient retreat. Residents can also venture to the North Carolina shoreline at Sunset Beach, reachable within a 20-minute drive.
Things to do in Little River, SC
Little River beckons with a variety of activities, from fishing, boating, and golfing to renowned seafood festivals like the Blue Crab Festival and the Little River Shrimpfest. Engage in deep-sea fishing with charter companies or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic Little River Waterfront, perhaps spotting dolphins in the river. Golf enthusiasts can savor 18 holes along the Intracoastal Waterway at Glen Dornoch and a Gene Hamm designed course at Eagle Nest Golf Club.
Is Little River South Carolina a good place to live?
Absolutely, Little River is considered an excellent place to live. The town offers an easy, relaxing, and enjoyable lifestyle, providing convenient access to necessities and a myriad of activities to keep days and weekends busy.
Is Little River SC a good place to live for retirees?
Little River emerges as an ideal destination for retirees, with its lower cost of living, tax incentives, and a plethora of recreational activities. Its proximity to Cherry Grove Beach adds to its appeal – family will love coming to visit and spending sunny days at the beach.
Retirement-aged folks will find plenty of fellow retirees in there community, 43.2% of the town’s population is age 65 and older. There are plenty of community groups, clubs, and outings to help retirees build connections and grow their social circle.
Is Little River SC considered North Myrtle Beach?
Situated in Horry County, Little River, SC, stands as the northeastern tip of the state, inland of North Myrtle Beach and south of Calabash, NC. Officially, it is a “census-designated place,” meaning it is unincorporated and does not have a city government, town hall, or city taxes. Instead, it is administered by the Horry County Government.
Is Little River SC expensive?
Contrary to being expensive, Little River is known for its affordability, surpassing rivaling coastal hot spots like Wilmington, NC, Charleston, SC, and Hilton Head, SC, in nearly every cost of living category. As of February 2023, the median list price of a single-family home in Little River was $350,000.
Does Little River SC flood?
Sitting on a low coastal plain, Little River experiences occasional flooding. However, finding a property outside high-risk flood areas is possible with the assistance of an experienced local real estate agent.
If you are considering buying or renting in Little River, it’s important to check the local flood maps to determine if a property is in a flood zone and purchase necessary flood coverage to ensure your property is protected.
Is Little River SC crowded?
With no high-rise buildings or crowded streets, Little River offers a tranquil environment, perfect for relaxing and enjoying life's simple pleasures. Most recent census data in 2020 counted the population of Little River at 11,711.
Is Little River SC above sea level?
The area around Little River boasts an elevation range from -4 ft to 61 ft, with an average of 39 ft above sea level.
Is Little River SC safe?
Little River is in the 86th percentile for safety, indicating that it's safer than 86% of cities. The violent crime rate is 2.3 per 1000 residents in a standard year, and the property crime rate is 16.5 per 1000 residents in a standard year.
Tight-knit communities and a modest population foster a strong sense of community, ensuring that there are always neighbors available to provide support and deter crime. The town's array of family-oriented activities and its relaxed way of life further enhance its standing as an excellent choice for both raising a family and enjoying a leisurely retirement – with safety and security.
Does Little River SC get hurricanes?
As with all coastal communities, hurricanes are a possibility in Little River. While the risk is lower compared to other coastal states, residents can mitigate risks by heeding warnings and being prepared for the unexpected.
What are the best places to live in Little River?
Little River features numerous neighborhoods catering to various homebuyer needs. Desirable communities like Heather Glen and Cypress Village offer options with proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway and the beach.
In conclusion, Little River, SC, transcends being merely a coastal town; it's a lifestyle. With its unique charm, affordability, and diverse range of activities, it remains a hidden gem along the Grand Strand, welcoming those seeking a peaceful yet vibrant community.
Ready to make a move? Want some more info? Contact a Right Find Homes agent to take advantage of our local real estate expertise. We're committed to helping you find a home you'll love, in Little River and beyond. Contact us today!
Listing information last updated on March 1, 2024 at 4:45 PM EST.