who is moving here? and from where?

Surprised?  As stated in the Post and Courier this past Sunday: Over the last 15 plus years, more people are moving to South Carolina from neighboring states, New York and foreign countries than from any other area in the United States.  North Carolina accounts for the most new comers during this time frame by contributing 393,935 people.  Followed by Goergia and then Florida.  In recent years, there have been many people who initially retired to Florida that have decided to leave Florida because of increasing insurance costs and property taxes.  Other states that are supplying over 80,000 to 85,000 and calling Charleston home include Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California in that order.  The Lowcountry is probably seeing more people from New York, New Jersey and Florida.  South Carolina cities close to North Carolina are probably seeing a good number of Tar Heel transplants.

There is also a big correlation between the folks that are visiting are from Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville, Anderson, Raleigh, Durham, and into Tennessee and the ones buying.  People fall in love with Charleston and end up buying a vacation home and plan to retire here.

Appealing your Tax Assessment

Tax assessments recently came out throughout the state of South Carolina.  Already there is talk of widespread appeals from property owners in the Charleston area. 

The greater Charleston area is made up of three counties Berekely, Charleston and Dorchester.  The tax rate for the same house is somewhat different based on which county the house sits in.  Charleston county has by far the highest tax rate.

So what is the process if Uncle Sam or one of his town officials taxed you too much based on today's housing market slump?  After all, prices have gone down significantly, Charleston not being an exception.

Most people should be able to handle the appeals process on their own.  You have 30 days after the tax notice arrives to file the appeal.  Don't wait until the actual bill arrives. At that point, it is too late and you know the government isn't going to help at that point.  Most counties require a licensed professional to prepare an analysis of the local market property values for the folks that sit on the tax board at the local level.

The property owner should be acvtively involved in working with the appraiser to make sure they are aware of everything around your home that might impact its value.  You will want to take into consideration zoning, neighborhood amenities, planned construction enhancements etc.

Additionally, learn the rules and deadlines for the local assessors office. Each county has ther own forms (it would be too easy for every county in SC to use the same forms) and we all know if there is a better way, it won't be found in the government offices at any level.  Check deadlines carefully becuase if you miss one, well, you are out of luck.

When you head for the final stage, the appeals hearing, be  armed with all the evidence you can to support your appeal using every comparable that you and your propfessional consultants have. Be ready  to present and make a clear and logical case for why your tax assessment should be lower.

Homeowner's Guide to Property Taxes In SC

Don't want to go it alone – The state of SC allows for a property owner to represented by an appraiser, attorney or accountant in any request for review or appeal of property assessments.

Use a representative in Charleston to help you with the process.

Things to Know About Living in Charleston

Charleston is a great city but like anywhere, there are things to consider before moving:

1/ Charleston is in the South and you will need to accept you will be living in the South.  Most folks, escpecially true southerns are friendly and hospitalble people, but they just don't take kindly to people constantly talking abouthow they did things up North.

2/ Don't look for a basement, just accept that your new home will not have one.

3/ Charleston sits in a Hurrincan path, so be prepared with a plan and good insurance.

4/ Palmetto bugs (like roaches) are annoying and a fact of life in the South but can be controlled.  Find a good bugman.

5/ Living on the water is great, and convenient, if you are a boater. Do be preared to pay a little extra for the priviledge.

6/ There is traffic and like any other city is inconvenient, but the view is usually better in the LowCountry. Unless you get behind a horse carriage giving a tour.  That can be frustrating.

7/ The Charleston area is not lacking for things to do.  Golf, boating, shrimping, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, tennis, beach walks, theatre, events, lowcountry boils, dining, sporting events, historical tours, gardens, city walks, shopping and much much more.

8/ Mount Pleasant is Charleston's northern neighbor and yes, you can walk across the bridge. In fact, it is encouraged.

9/ Charleston is a great walking town, so buy good shoes and be careful on the cobblestone.

10/ Charleston is close to Hilton Head, beaches, Columbia and has easy interstate access and great little airport.

11/ It is HOT in the summer. 


Patrick O'Donnell House

One of Charleston's most exquisite real estate listings is the Patrick O'Donnell house at 21 King Street, perhaps the city's finest example of the "side hall" construction style popular in Charleston's golden age prior to the Civil War. The side hall concept is a slight modification of the classic "single house", which faced sideways to the street with entry along a full-length porch, or piazza. The side hall motif created a separate entrance on the opposite sie of the house from the piazza, with a stairway that, unlike the single house, did not divide the house. This guaranteed an uninterrupted expanse of shaded exterior as well as contiguous interior chambers that could open into one another for a glorious ballroom spacial concept. No better scenario could ever exist for a formal reception or party, or for its outstanding visual and visceral effect.