Whether you’re just a generally curious person or you’re interested in relocating, you may find yourself wondering if homes in South Carolina have basements—the answer may surprise you.

On average, homes in South Carolina do not have basements. Since South Carolina is located on the East Coast, its terrain and climate generally make basements an unpopular feature for homes.

Incredibly, while 90% of homes in the northern U.S. have a basement, only 1% of homes in the South do. Those who are used to having basements for the benefits of extra storage or leisure space may find this hard to believe. Keep reading to find out the reason homes in South Carolina don’t have basements!

Why Don’t Homes in South Carolina Have Basements?

Generally, homes in the Southeast share topographical features that are not conducive to having a basement, which is why homes in South Carolina do not have basements.

Homes in South Carolina do not have basements because of the high water table and humidity. A high-water table means that there is water underground within 6-8 feet of the surface. This is problematic since basements need to be dug at least 8 feet deep.

Even if you manage to find a home with a basement, you may want to reconsider. The high humidity in South Carolina makes enclosed spaces particularly prone to mold and water damage. But, if you are still optimistic, keep reading to find out where you can find homes with basements in South Carolina!

Where Can You Find Homes with Basements in South Carolina?

It can be difficult to find a home with a basement in South Carolina; however, you may be able to have a basement further away from the coast.We have provided a list of the top three cities that have a selection of homes with basements in South Carolina.

The cities in South Carolina that have the most homes with basements are:

  • Spartanburgis in the far northwest of South Carolina a little over 4 hours from the coast.
  • Greenvilleis southwest of Spartanburg and is also about 4 hours from the coast.
  • Columbiais the capital and is in the middle of South Carolina.

Of course, if you’re more committed to having a basement than living in a city, feel free to expand your search to smaller towns! However, if you’re a believer in “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” you should keep reading to learn more about building a house with a basement in South Carolina.

Can You Build a House with a Basement in South Carolina?

For those with the means and motivation to build a house instead of buying, you may be wondering if there is anything to prohibit you from building a house with a basement in South Carolina. Fortunately, we have the answer.

There are no laws against building a house with a basement in South Carolina, but the terrain makes building a basement extremely difficult. The western region is the best place to build a house with a basement in South Carolina.

If you’re interested in more populated areas or want to be closer to the beach, you may be disappointed about your basement prospects. Even in areas where you can have a basement, the humidity and high water table make basements prone to damage. Keep reading to find out what you can do to protect your basement!

What are Some Preventative Measures for Humidity?

After so many warnings about the risks of living in a humid area, you are probably wondering what exactly the preventative measures are in order to protect your basement.

Ways to prevent mold and mildew for basements in South Carolina, are:

  • Air conditioning
  • Increased airflow (either a central system or fans)
  • A dehumidifier
  • Mold-resistant paint

These can (and should) be used in basements and alternative storage options. After all, it would be a shame to find your dream house but end up with mildew, water damage, or mold. You can do some or all of these, but keep in mind maintenance will be needed, and it still may not be foolproof. Additionally, there are alternatives to having a basement in South Carolina, which you can read about below!

What are Some Alternatives to Basements in South Carolina?

Maybe you’ve decided you want to live somewhere where basements aren’t an option, or you’re just not committed to having a basement in general. Regardless, you now have the opportunity to explore the possibilities for additional storage in South Carolina.

Alternatives to a basement are:

  • Attics
  • Lofts
  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Renting a storage locker

Admittedly, renting a storage locker may not be a long-term solution for most people; however, it is convenient for renters. The bonus of storage lockers is that they usually have air conditioning, which you’ll have to consider for the other storage options. South Carolina’s humidity can make mold and water damage an issue, so regardless of your selection you’ll have to take preventative measures.


Homes in South Carolina do not usually have basements; however, there are a few cities in South Carolina where houses with basements can be found. The reason houses in South Carolina do not usually have basements is the high-water table and humidity.

Despite the difficulties of building a basement in South Carolina, there are not any laws against it. If you live in an area that does not have basements, there are plenty of alternatives for extra storage and leisure space. However, be prepared to foot the bill to prevent the humidity from ruining your basement.