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.

The Waiting Game! Are you playing it too?

If you are waiting for the market to hit bottom to purchase a home in Charleston, SC or if you are waiting for prices to start going back up to sell; you are playing the most popular game today ~ Yup, the Waiting Game

Would-be sellers might be waiting for a long time, and buyers, well, as for when the bottom will hit, it depends on who you ask.  Like everything in life, there are two ways of looking at every situtation. Real estate is no different. 

Of course every seller would prefer to sell high and buy low.  However, if you sell for lower than you would like and are able to buy for lower than it would have cost just last year, doesn't that make for a fair trade off? Ideal, no, worth exploring, yes.

If you are looking to upgrade, NOW is the time.  This could be your chance of the dream home on or near the water.

With no access to the all-telling crystal ball – the question to ask yourself is, "How long am I will willing to wait?" Each person will have their own situation to assess but if you are looking to upgrade, downgrade or make that first purchase, now is as good a time as any!


Priced to Sell, or NOT

It still amazes me that people just don't get it.  Please, let me be CLEAR ~if you are trying to sell your home in this market, price it right or it simply won't sell

Listing appointments have turned into more than the presentation of the good old days that included the marketing strategy that would be employed to sell the home, to first serving up a hearty dish of price reality.  Now, there are certainly enough resources on the internet for sellers and buyers alike to educate themselves before testing the waters on either side of the transaction.  Truila, MLS, Realtor websites, Realtor.com, and of course Zillow and its controversial Zestimate are just a few. With the millions of monthly visitors all of these marketplaces claim visit their sites and consume their content, you would think my job would be getting easier, not harder.

If your house has been on the market for awhile and is still on the market, it is clear that either you didn't listen to your realtor or your realtor didn't give you good information. Either way, the conclusion is obvious, YOU PRICED YOUR PROPERTY INCORRECTLY!

It stands to reason, with high inventory levels, more and more foreclosures and short sales coming on the market monthly, that reasonable pricing will peak interest, but unrealistic pricing will not benefit either party.

Educate yourself so that when you meet with a realtor you have realistic expectations.  Keep in mind though, all the resources available on the web still won't be able to provide the most up to date market information. None of the other sources has all the data necessary.  A realtor can provide your most up to date and complete market analysis. 

Price them right folks! And if you can't sell, consider renting! It seems to have worked for the Treasury Secretary! I guess he missed my price it right rant! See his story here!