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The Ultimate Renter's Guide to Charleston, West Virginia

Picture of Kristina Gaddy
Updated: 30 March 2018
Charleston, West Virginia is still a relatively small city, even though it’s the largest metropolitan area in the state. As the state capital and home to Charleston University, there are many people who come and go from the city, and plenty of places to rent are fairly inexpensive. Here is a guide to renting in Charleston.

Where to live

Real estate prices in Charleston, West Virginia tend to be on the inexpensive side, so you can end up getting a lot for your money. In almost all of the neighborhoods on the northside of Kanawha River, you’ll find a good mix of freestanding houses or apartments to rent. Near the City Center / Historic District, you can find modern and luxury apartments, and in the West End and East End, you’ll find a mix of historic homes and older apartment buildings. On the south side of the river, the South Hills neighborhood tends to have less properties for rent, and they’re mainly single-family homes.

Think outside the lines

Charleston itself is pretty small – only about 32 square miles (51 km2) and a population of just under 50,000. However, the greater Charleston area includes South Charleston, Dunbar, and St. Albans, all places that have easy access to Charleston. Be aware that leaving the city limits doesn’t necessarily make housing prices any less expensive.

Find a place by hitting the streets

Sometimes in West Virginia, the best way to find a place to live is to get out and see what’s happening. Because renting out a house or apartment isn’t as simple as it used to be (i.e. just putting up a sign or an ad in the local newspaper), many landlords don’t know the best way to reach potential renters. Go to a neighborhood or place you might like to live, and drive or walk around to see if there are “For Rent” signs up. Talking to coworkers and friends is also a great way to get information about properties that might be up for lease soon.

Or check online

Finding a place to live online is still a good bet in Charleston. Property owners will list places to rent on Craigslist and ApartmentFinder, among others. You can also go old-school and check out the (online) classifieds of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.