With SVN you cannot import a directory and then automatically have it as a working copy. You have to checkout – but there is a nice and clean trick to make this happen. If you wanted to add ~/mydir to SVN and then have ~/mydir as a working copy without the pain of removing/checking out files, do the following:

cd ~/mydir
svn mkdir --parents https://example.com/svn/my/stuff/mydir/trunk
svn co https://example.com/svn/stuff/mydir/trunk .
svn add ./*
svn ci -m "Initial import"

Basically you are creating a directory in your SVN repository (/stuff/mydir/trunk – why this way – I recommend reading the manual) and then checking out that directory. Technically speaking it only creates a “.svn/” directory in “~/mydir” effectively turning your original data into a working copy. Then all you have to do is to add and commit all other files. In-place SVN – ready.