“Affordable” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Charleston, but in at least one aspect it is, according to a study from real estate company Redfin.
Charleston is the third-most affordable place to raise an infant, with an average cost of $16,566 in a baby’s first year.
Birmingham, Ala., was ranked the most affordable at $16,383 in the first year, followed by Little Rock, Ark., at $16,585 spent during a baby’s first year.
Redfin’s analysis calculated the cost of moving up from a two-bedroom single-family home to a comparable three-bedroom home for 79 metro areas. The difference in annual mortgage payments was added to average yearly childcare costs for the state in which the city is located, plus health care and baby item expenses, to find the total cost.
Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a news release that childcare is typically the most expensive part of a new baby.
“If you decide to stay at home to take care of your baby, you may have to forgo income and pause your career progression,” Fairweather said. “If you hire a nanny, you will need to pay them a competitive wage. And if you happen to find an affordable daycare provider, you may have to sit on a waitlist until a spot opens up for your child.”
In Charleston, the average mortgage difference was only $579. Childcare accounted for $6,840, baby items accounted for $7,850 and health care accounted for $1,297.
Washington, D.C., where parents spend an average of $35,017 during a baby’s first year, is the most expensive city in the country to raise an infant, followed by Boston at $31,307 and Worcester, Mass., at $30,610.