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View of Downtown Columbia, SC from Above with Capitol Building Visible

Safe, Affordable Suburbs in Columbia in 2024

Moving to Columbia? Along with having one of America’s hottest real estate markets, South Carolina’s capital city offers a warm climate paired with Southern hospitality. If you’re considering living in Columbia, SC, here are five safe and affordable suburbs to consider!


  • Home Price: $265,100 median home value; $1,256 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 94% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

If you’re looking for one of the safest suburbs of Columbia, SC, you won’t find many areas better than Blythewood! Once known as Doko—a name still commonly used for local restaurants and amenities here—Blythewood is located about 20 minutes north of Columbia. Featuring a range of Bungalows, Contemporary, and Ranch homes on large plots of land and great local schools like Blythewood High School and Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School, residents will find Blythewood a great town to raise a family.

Things to Do in Blythewood

Enjoy live performances from regional artists at Doko Meadows Park‘s 2,500-seat amphitheater and fill up on delicious food at Doko Ribfest in the Park. Tee off, swim in the pool, dominate the pickleball courts, and more at Cobblestone Park Golf Club. Play baseball, hang with the kids in the gymnasium, or enjoy a family picnic at Blythewood Park. Or watch barrel racing, bull riding, steer wrestling, and more at the Blythewood Doko Rodeo. Try out the Pulled Pork Sandwich, Rib Sandwich, or Chicken Plate at Doko Smoke Barbeque. Order the Mushroom Swiss Burger, The Monster Burger, or Big Daddy Spaghetti at Scottie’s Cafe & Grill. Munch on Fig Bacon Flatbread, She Crab Soup, or the Doko Reuben at Doko Station Pub and Eatery. Or indulge in sweets like Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Ice Cream Pie, and Heart Shaped Cake Pops at Sweet Pea’s Ice Cream & Cafe.

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Forest Acres

Small Gray Bungalow in Forest Acres Suburb of Columbia, SC. Photo by Instagram user @workwithwalsh

Photo via @workwithwalsh

  • Home Price: $186,900 median purchase price; $858 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 46% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Forest Acres offers a little something for everyone—making it one of the best places to live in Columbia! Located in historic Columbia, Forest Acres’ tree-lined streets provide access to unique shopping destinations, great local farmers markets, and delicious dining options. And while young professionals appreciate the convenient ten-minute commute into Downtown Columbia, families love the abundant green space and exceptional local schools like A.C. Flora High School and Crayton Middle School. Forest Acres is also a popular spot for military families, as Fort Jackson is on the other side of nearby I-77.

Things to Do in Forest Acres

Shop for fresh produce, local artwork, and more from April through November at Forest Acres Farmers’ Market. Stroll on the rubber-surfaced walking trail and enjoy an outdoor picnic at Quinine Hill Park. Shop at outlet stores like Anthropologie, Chico’s, Kendra Scott, and more at Trenholm Plaza. Tee off for a full round of golf, serve on the tennis courts, and cool off in the pool at Forest Lake Club. Savior a Mimosa while filling up on dishes like Biscuits & Gravy, Popcorn Shrimp, and Brioche French Toast at Poogan’s Southern Kitchen. Order a hearty entree like the Meatloaf, Beef Short Rib, or Grilled Pork Chop at Tombo Grille. Dig into Italian dishes like Loaded Spaghetti, Chicken & Spinach Lasagna, or Seafood Gorgonzola at family-owned Pasta Fresca. Fill up on the Gyro Sandwich, Chicken Gizzards, or Oyster Platter at Boeshreen. Or catch the latest sports game action at one of the best sports bars in Columbia—Baker’s Sports Bar & Grill.


  • Home Price: $123,600 median purchase price; $1,036 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 56% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for affordable housing in Columbia close to nature? The close-knit community of Irmo might just be the suburb for you! The town of Irmo is located alongside Lake Murray, about 15 minutes away from Columbia proper, making it a great option for those looking for lakeside real estate in the Columbia area. This affordable Columbia suburb also offers single-family homes in Colonial, Cape Cod, and Ranch styles—in addition to budget-friendly apartments and condos. Families in particular will love the great schooling options and community events that make Irmo one of the best places to live in Columbia!

Things to Do in Irmo

Clap your hands to live music, hop on amusement rides, and cheer in the parade during the annual Irmo Okra Strut. Enjoy live musical performances, professional ballet, and children’s theater programs at Harbison Theatre. Fire up the grills for a barbecue or walk the trails at the Community Park of Irmo. Host a birthday party or enroll in the youth or adult bowling leagues at Anchor Lanes. Enjoy great dishes like the Bourbon Chicken, Tropical Mango Beef, or Walnut Shrimp at Sun Ming Chinese Restaurant. Fill up on a Pimento Burger, Tailgate Special, or Fish Fillet Sandwich at Mathias Sandwich Shop. Munch on a variety of baked goods like the Lemon Honey Ginger Cookie, Confetti Cookie, or Blonde Brownie at Blue Flour Bakery. Or end the night with craft beers like the Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, Moon Fluff stout, or Carolina Sunrise blonde ale at Craft & Draft.


  • Home Price: $174,900 median purchase price; $972 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 78% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Not only does Lexington have budget-friendly homes, but it’s also one of the safest Columbia suburbs! Its spacious single-family homes and proximity to Lake Murray have made living in Columbia a budget-friendly option for families and retirees. As a Lexington resident, you’ll have access to great parks like Gibson Pond Park, which offers grills, stone fireplaces, and plenty of picnic areas. Lexington, SC is also an attractive place for singles and young professionals who want affordable housing within 20 minutes of everything Downtown Columbia has to offer!

Things to Do in Lexington

See touring acts like The Root Doctors, Vinyl Junkies, and The Mighty Kicks in concert at Icehouse Amphitheater. Enjoy the fresh air, play on the playground, or cool off on the splash pad at Corley Street Park. Support local artists, buy fresh produce, and enjoy live music at The Market at Icehouse. Immerse yourself in South Carolina history through programs like Early Games, Colonial Home Life, and Early Christmas Crafts at the Lexington County Museum. Start your morning right with a Breakfast Bowl, Chicken Biscuit, or Cinnamon Pancakes at Cafe Strudel. Experience South Carolina BBQ with a rack of Signature Ribs, BBQ Pork, or Brisket Melt from Hudson’s Smokehouse. Try flight-inspired entrees like the Thunderbolt-BLT, Flying Fortress hamburger, or the Wing And A Prayer from Flight Deck Restaurant. Chow down on Fried Green Tomatoes, a Brew Pub Burger, or Mac Attack Burger at Old Mill BrewPub. Or sip Black Ridge Merlot while enjoying authentic Irish cuisine like Guinness Stew, Fish and Chips, and Bangers and Mash at O’Hara’s Public House.

Seven Oaks

White Ranch Style Home in Seven Oaks Suburb in Columbia, SC. Photo by Instagram user @mkwood5719

Photo via @mkwood5719

  • Home Price: $136,100 median purchase price; $860 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 52% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect for: Families, retirees

When searching for a safe, affordable Columbia suburb, look into Seven Oaks! Located about 15 minutes outside of the capital, this safe Columbia suburb is perfect for residents wanting connection to the city but a quieter lifestyle—thanks to a large availability of green space and quick commutes into the city! Plus, this affordable Columbia suburb offers Modern and Ranch-style homes, as well as budget-friendly apartment options. To top it off, families in Seven Oaks are able to send their children to excellent Columbia, SC schools like Seven Oaks Elementary School, Leaphart Elementary School, and more.

Things to Do in Seven Oaks

Pack a picnic, join a wellness group, or sign the kids up for baseball, softball, and soccer leagues at Seven Oaks Park. Spice up your family’s game night with a purchase from Firefly Toys & Games. Explore Leo’s Landing Inclusive Playground or attend fun public events like the EGG-cessible Egg Hunts and Shuckin’ on The Shoals Oyster Roast at Saluda Shoals Park. Or, for superhero fans, browse comic books and action figures at Heroes & Dragons. Try gourmet hotdogs like the Greedy Dog, Nacho Dog, and Waffle Dog at locally-beloved hot dog bar Greedy Rascals. Chow down Bacon Quesadillas, Chicken Fajitas, or a Diablo Shrimp Burrito at Real Mexico Restaurant. Have your fill of elevated sushi rolls like the Seafood Sushi Boat, Black Dragon Roll, and Godzilla Sushi Roll at Inakaya Watanabe. Feast on Veggie Nachos, Supreme Enchiladas, or a Super Burrito at Taqueria Jalisco Restaurant. Or finish off your day with a Big Classic Burger, Sausage Dog, and Brownie Sundae at Steve’s Classic Burgers.


Moving to Columbia? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the Columbia metro, including Blythewood, Forest Acres, Irmo, Lexington, and Seven Oaks. Find cheap storage near you!

Suburb statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.