7 Ways You May be able to Save Money on your SC Vehicle Taxes

This posting has nothing to do with Charleston SC real estate, but I thought it may be helpful

1.  If you are over 64 years of age, the cost of your motor vehicle license decal fee can be reduced. Apply in person at a S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or mail a copy of your paid tax receipt and your decal fee to: Division of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 1498, Columbia, S.C. 29216.

2.  Does your vehicle odometer average, over 15,000 miles annually based on its age? If so, you may qualify for the high-mileage discount. During the renewal month of your vehicle tax bill, but before you make your tax payment, file the Motor Vehicle High-Mileage Discount Appeal form online or at the Auditor's office.

3.  If you sell your motor vehicle you can transfer your license tag to your new car and not be billed for the new vehicle until your tags expiration date; or you can turn-in your license tag at the Auditor's office to receive a tax refund for any remaining unused months. Bring the bill of sale for the sold vehicle and the license tag and registration to any DMV office.

4.  If you move to another state, you can also receive a refund of your taxes for the unused months. Mail or bring your S.C. (Charleston County) license tag, your S.C. registration card and proof of registration in the new state to any of the Auditor's offices.

5.  If you were a POW, a Medal of Honor recipient or a veteran who has received a service-connected total disability, you may qualify for an exemption from property tax on up to two motor vehicles. Application should be made through the S.C. Department of Revenue. There is a DOR Service Center at 3 Southpark Center, Suite 202, next to Citadel Mall (Phone: 843-852-3600).

6.  If you are the vehicle's registered owner and you are required to use a wheelchair you may qualify for an exemption from property tax on up to two motor vehicles. Application should be made through the S.C. Department of Revenue. There is a DOR Service Center at 3 Southpark Center, Suite 202, next to Citadel Mall (Phone: 843-852-3600).

7.  If you are the vehicle's registered owner and the legal guardian of a minor child who is blind or who is required to use a wheelchair you may qualify for an exemption on one personal motor vehicle if it is used to transport the minor. Application should be made through the S.C. Department of Revenue. There is a DOR Service Center at 3 Southpark Center, Suite 202, next to Citadel Mall (Phone: 843-852-3600).

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

Let’s Learn About Hanahan, South Carolina

Hanahan is located on the very south end of Berkeley County, and its city limits on the west and south sides are contiguous with the county line between Berkeley and Charleston Counties and a population of just over 14,000. It was incorporated as a city in 1972.  Hanahan is bordered on the west and south by the city of North Charleston. To the east is the old Naval Weapons Station. A very small portion of this federal base is actually in Hanahan’s city limits. Among other uses of the former submarine base, the Naval Consolidated Brig is there, as is the Navy’s Nuclear Power School. To the north is an unincorporated portion of Berkeley County.  Most areas of Hanahan are located within a 10-15 minute drive of the major shopping areas, including The Northwoods Mall (in North Charleston), in what is known locally as the “North Area.” Also within a short drive are Interstate 26 and Interstate 526, as well as U.S. Highway 52.  The public schools in Hanahan are considered to be some of the best in the Tri-County Area (consisting of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties).

Local subdivisions include, but are not limited to Yemann’s Park, Charleston Farms, Otranto, Belvedere Estates, Beverly Hills, Eagle Landing, Eagle Point, Tanner Plantation, and The Reserve.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

Sincerely,
"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Let’s Learn a Little about Isle of Palms South Carolina

The island remained without permanent inhabitants until the late 19th century when the island became recognized by locals of the area as a refuge from the summer heat and tempo of Charleston. The island was purchased in 1899 by J.S. Lawrence, who renamed it the Isle of Palms. Isle of Palms is located just 20 minutes north of downtown Charleston, on the Atlantic Ocean side of Mt. Pleasant.   In the 1970's the rest of the world discovered the joys of the Isle of Palms, and real estate development blossomed. In 1975, the Sea Pines Co., one of the major developers of Hilton Head Island, established a similar resort enterprise on 900 acres of land at the northeast end of the island. Originally named The Isle of Palms Beach and Racquet Club it was renamed The Wild Dunes Beach and Racquet Club in 1984 and today is simply called Wild Dunes. With nationally recognized golf courses and other resort amenities, Wild Dunes has become a major vacation locale on the South Carolina coast. In spite of the changes wrought over the last 20 years, with its six miles of white, sandy beaches, the Isle of Palms remains a place of beautiful serenity for residents and visitors today

Points of interest include, Isle of Palms County Park, Whirling Waters Water Park, Public Beaches, Wild dunes Resort, Isle of Palms Marina, and great golfing.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

 

Folly Beach and its Real Estate Sales over the Past Six Months

Folly Beach has always been a part of coastal South Carolina’s history and charm. Nestled between the Folly River and the Atlantic Ocean, just fifteen minutes from downtown Charleston, the barrier island of Folly Beach truly offers you the best of both worlds. Locals refer to Folly Beach as the "Edge of America".   In the morning the sun rises on the beach and at days end the sun sets over Folly River.   On the eastern tip of the Island is an outstanding view of the Morris Island Lighthouse from one of three county parks located on the island. The Fishing Pier, which extends more than 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, hosts fishing tournaments.  You can rent everything you need for fishing at the shop on the Pier.  Folly Beach has some of the best surfing on the east coast and holds several surfing events yearly.  Other points of interest include Folly Beach Public Beach, The Holiday Inn, and Folly Beach County Park.

Below is a price range comparison of 2008 and 2009:

There have been 27 properties sold on Folly Beach from May 23, 2009 to November 21, 2009. During the same time period a year ago there were also 27 properties sold. 
 
Price Range                                     # Units 2008             # Units 2009
$160,000 – $280,000                                   0                                  2                     
$280,000 – $300,000                                   0                                  8
$300,000 – $400,000                                   5                                  3
$400,000 – $500,000                                   6                                  6
$500,000 – $800,000                                   11                                5
$800,000 – $1,000,000                                2                                  0
$1,100,000 – $1,400,000                             3                                  3
 
The average sold price per unit from May 23, 2009 to November 21 was $458,000 and the price per unit in 2008 during the same time period was $836,269.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

Let’s Learn a Little About Sullivan's Island

Sullivan's Island is an island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. The population was 1,911 at the 2000 census. It is also the site of a major battle of the American Revolution at Fort Sullivan now Fort Moultrie on June 28, 1776.

The island was known as O’Charley’s Island because of Captain Florence O’Sullivan, who was stationed here as a lighthouse keeper in the late seventeenth century. O’Sullivan was Captain of one of the ships in the first fleet to establish English and Irish settlement at Charleston. In 1671 he became Surveyor General. He appears in the earliest record of Irish immigration to the Carolinas, mentioned as being taken on “at Kingsayle (Kinsale) in Ireland”. 

Sullivan’s Island was the disembarkation port for over 40% (4-8 million) of the slaves traded to the British Colonies making it the largest slave port in North America. It is estimated that nearly half of all African Americans had ancestors that passed through Sullivan’s Island. On 28 June, 1776, a makeshift log fort was held by colonial forces against an onslaught by the British under Cornwallis who attempted to enter Charleston harbor. The palmetto logs used in the construction of the fort proved to be remarkably spongy and deflected the cannon balls. The Battle of Fort Moultrie was commemorated by the addition of a white palmetto tree to the flag of South Carolina. The victory is celebrated and June 28 is known as Carolina Day. The history of the island has been dominated by Fort Moultrie, which, until its closure in the late 1940s, served as the base of command for the defense of the City of Charleston.

Local points of interest include Sullivan's Island Beach, Fort Sumter National Monument, Fort Moultrie National Monument, Seminole Chief Osceola’s Grave, The New Charleston Lighthouse, Wild Dunes Resort, abundant wildlife, and downtown Charleston attractions.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

Let’s Learn a Little About Goose Creek South Carolina

The city of Goose Creek located in the southern end of Berkeley County, South Carolina was established in 1961 has a population of just over 30,000.  Its history dates back many centuries. In early colonial times the term "Goose Creek men" was used for a group of colonists, mostly settled a few miles west of Charleston near a stream called Goose Creek. The Goose Creek men became leaders of the early Indian trade, and by the 1690s many held important offices in the colonial government.  The City has achieved a balance between growth, the environment and the preservation of the small town character. Residents live, work and raise their families surrounded by the rich historic and natural treasures of the low country.  Goose Creek real estate is ideal for people who want to live near Charleston but want to avoid the high housing prices associated with living in Charleston County. Residents of Goose Creek are about a 30 minute drive from downtown Charleston and about 45 minutes from Folly Beach. Travel to fishing and hunting opportunities in Berkeley County are, likewise, only thirty minutes away.  Because it is further inland, house prices in Goose Creek are much more affordable than most areas around Charleston.

Local subdivisions include, but are not limited to Boulder Bluff, Liberty Hall Plantation, Sedgefield, Forest Lawn, Devon Forest, Cokers Crossing, Foxborough,  Briarwood, St. James Estates, Crowfield Plantation, Willowbrook, and Breamoor.

Goose Creek is home to the U. S. Naval Weapons Station. 

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

Sincerely,
"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Let’s Learn about North Charleston, South Carolina

North Charleston is a suburban city with population of just over 91,000.  This ranks as 3rd in city limit populations within the state, after Columbia and Charleston, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Incorporated in June 1972, North Charleston had a population of 21,000 and an area of seven square miles. Since that time, the city has quadrupled its population and now encompasses more than 76.6 square miles.  North Charleston offers a wealth of real estate opportunities and possibilities to a purchaser that is willing to look a little deeper. Not only are large development communities springing up to meet the demands of the market, but older neighborhoods are beginning to see an influx of buyers and renovation at an unprecedented rate. Houses in these revitalized neighborhoods can show a quality of construction often not found in today's newer homes, all in a colorful and vibrant atmosphere.

Points of interest include Hunnley Submarine, Northwood Mall, Trident Technical College, Trident Medical Center, Tanger Outlet Mall, Charleston International Airport, Charleston Air Force Base, Historic Downtown North Charleston, North Charleston convention Center, Wannamaker County Park, whirling Waters Water Park, and the North Charleston Coliseum.

Some local subdivisions are, but not limited to, Park Circle, Brentwood, Evanston Estates, Archdale, Covington Hills, Whitehall South, Colony North, and Dorchester Terrace.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Annual Freshfields Village Holiday Festival

When:  Friday November 27 – Sunday November 29

Where:  Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island

Who:  All Ages

Cost:  Free Admission

Come and enjoy a weekend filled with Christmas lights, the smell of Christmas trees in the air, and many holiday themed events.  On Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM children can play in the jump castle, get their face painted, or make special handmade holiday gifts at a craft table.  The food vendors will have something pleasing for everyone to eat.  Be entertained by the Big Boom Band which is an interactive children’s musical group that give parent something enjoyable to listen to.  Santa will be at the Freshfields Village from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturday and 1:00 Pm to 6:00 PM on Sunday for all the kids, young and old.  One free Santa picture per family will be provided by the Freshfields merchants.  Come and enjoy the holiday spirit while shopping, eating, enjoying the Christmas music, and fun and games for the kids all in one spot.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Let’s Learn About Folly Beach South Carolina

Folly Beach has always been a part of coastal South Carolina’s history and charm. Nestled between the Folly River and the Atlantic Ocean, just fifteen minutes from downtown Charleston, the barrier island of Folly Beach truly offers you the best of both worlds. Locals refer to our little corner of the world as the "Edge of America".   When you wake up in the morning you'll enjoy the sunrise on the beach and finish your day watching a spectacular sunset on the Folly River.   On the eastern tip of the Island you'll find an outstanding view of the Morris Island Lighthouse from one of our three county parks. The Fishing Pier, which extends more than 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, hosts fishing tournaments…and if you want to fish, you can rent everything you need at the shop on the Pier.  Folly Beach has some of the best surfing on the east coast and holds several surfing events yearly.

Points of interest include Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach Public Beach, The Holiday Inn, Folly Beach County Park, Morris Island Lighthouse.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

South Carolina Real Estate Agency Relationships

This is the third article discussing South Carolina Real Estate Agency Law. We will be discussing the three different types of agency in South Carolina.

The first type is single agency. This is when the Company only represents one client in the same transaction (either the buyer or the seller). 

The second type is designated agency. In this case the buyer and the seller are represented by different real estate agents form the same Company. In this case the broker-in-charge may designate the agents to represent their respective clients. The designated agents have the obligatory duty to promote the best interests of their respective client, including the negotiating of an acceptable price. At the time of signing an agency agreement you will be asked to acknowledge that you would consider a designated agency situation should it occur. A designated agency form identifying the property will need to be signed by the buyer, seller, both real estate agents and the broker-in-charge if designated agency occurs.
 
The third type is disclosed dual agency. In this case the same agent represents both the buyer and seller in the same transaction.   At the time of signing an agency agreement you will be asked to acknowledge that you would consider a disclosed dual agency situation should it occur.  In a disclosed dual agency, the Company’s representation duties are limited because a buyer and seller have recognized conflicts of interest. Both clients’ interests are represented by the Company. As a disclosed dual agent, the Company and its associated licensees cannot advocate on behalf of one client over the other, and cannot disclose confidential client information concerning the price negotiations, terms, or factors motivating the buyer/client to buy or the seller/client to sell.Each Dual Agency Agreement contains the names of the buyers and the sellers, the real estate agent and identifies the property.  
 
Remember as a real estate consumer in South Carolina, it is your choice as to the type and nature of service you receive. You can choose to remain a customer and represent yourself while the Company represents the other party, or you can choose to hire the Company for representation through a written agreement, or if represented by the Company, you can decide whether to go forward under the shared of dual agency or designated agency, or remain in single agency.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

South Carolina Real Estate Agency Relationships

Part Two: The Client

This is the second of three articles discussing South Carolina Real Estate Agency law.  We will be discussing what a client is.

Clients receive more services than customers. If client status is offered by the real estate Company, you can become a client by entering into a written agency agreement requiring the Company and its associated licensees to act as an agent on your behalf and promote your best interests. If you choose to become a client, you will be asked to confirm in your written representation agreement that you received an agency brochure in a timely manner. A seller becomes a client of a real estate company by signing a formal listing agreement with the Company. For a seller to become a client, this agreement must be in writing and must clearly establish the terms of the agreement and the agreement and the obligations of both the seller and the Company which becomes the agent for the seller. 

A buyer becomes a client of a real estate Company by signing a formal buyer agency agreement with the Company. For a buyer to become a client, this agreement must be in writing and must clearly establish the terms of the agreement and the obligations of both the buyer and the Company which becomes the agent for the buyer.
If you enter into a written agency agreement, as a Client, you can expect the real estate Company to provide the following client-level services:

1.  Obedience
2.  Loyalty
3.  Disclosure
4.  Confidentiality
5.  Accounting
6.  Reasonable care and skill

Client-level services also include advice, counsel, and assistance in negotiations.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

South Carolina Real Estate Agency Relationships

Part One:  The Customer

This is the first of three articles discussing South Carolina Real Estate Agency Law.  We will be discussing what a customer is.

The SC Real Estate License Law in Section 57-139 (A) (1) and (2), requires a real estate licensee to provide you this brochure and a meaningful explanation of agency relationships offered by the licensee’s Company. This must be done at the first practical opportunity when you and the licensee have substantive contact.

Before you begin to work with a real estate licensee, it is important for you to know the difference between a broker-in-charge and associated licensees. The broker-in-charge is the person in charge of a real estate Company. Associated licensees may work only through a broker-in-charge. In other words, when you choose to work with any real estate licensee, your business relationship is legally with the Company and not with the associated licensee.  A real estate Company and its associated licensees can provide buyers and sellers valuable real estate services, whether in the form of basic customer services, or through client-level agency representation. The services you can expect will depend upon the legal relationship you establish with the Company. It is important for you to discuss the following information with the real estate licensee and agree on whether in your business relationship you will be a customer or a client.

South Carolina license law defines customers as buyers or sellers who choose NOT to establish an agency relationship. The law requires real estate licensees to perform the basic duties when dealing with any real estate buyer or seller as customers.

Unless, or until you enter into a written agreement with the Company for agency representation, you are considered a “Customer” of the Company, and the Company will not act your agent.  As a Customer, you should not expect the Company or its licensees to promote your best interest, or to keep your bargaining information confidential.  Customer service does not require a written agreement; therefore, you are not committed to the Company in any way.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

What is APR?

APR is an acronym for Annual Percentage Rate.  It's a government-mandated calculation meant to simplify the comparison of mortgage options.  A loan's APR can always be found in the top-left corner of the Federal Truth-In-Lending Disclosure.  Because APR is expressed as a percentage, many people confuse it for the loan's interest rate.  It's not.  APR represents the total cost of borrowing over the life of a loan.  "Interest rate" is the basis for monthly mortgage repayments.  The main advantage of APR is that it allows an "apples-to-apples" comparison between loan products.   As an example, a 5.000 percent mortgage with origination points and fees will almost certainly have a higher APR than a 5.500 percent mortgage with zero fees.  In this sense, APR can help a borrower determine which loan is least costly long-term.

However, APR is not without its shortcomings.  First, different banks include different fees into their APR calculations.  By definition, this spoils APR as choose-between-lenders, apples-to-apples comparison method.  Second, when calculating APR, "life of the loan" is assumed to be full-term.  When a 30-year mortgage pays off in 7 years or fewer — as most of them do — APR comparisons are rendered moot.

In other words, APR is just one metric to compare mortgages — it's not the only metric.  The best way to compare your mortgage options is to review all the loan terms together and determine which is most suitable.

If you have any questions about APR contact please contact Renee Hodges, or Zack Larichiuta at 843-763-1180.  On weekends contact Renee at 843-270-6256.  You can email Renee at renee.hodges@gbmail.com or go to www.charlestonlending.com

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

2009 James Island Park Festival of Lights

What:  2009 James Island Park Festival of Lights

When: November 13, 2009 – January 3, 2010

Festival & Gift Shop Hours
Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 5:30 – 11pm

Where:  James Island County Park
 
How Much: 

Festival Admission
1-15 guests…..$10 per vehicle or 6 Greenbax 
16-30 guests….$25 per vehicle
31+ guests…….$100 per vehicle
 
Receive a $2 discount per vehicle (Monday – Wednesday) with the donation of a canned food item. Discount only applies to $10 admissions.  Donations benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank.

Gold Passes are not valid for entry.
 
Let the spirit of the season embrace you as you create lasting memories with friends and family at the 20th annual Holiday Festival of Lights. Re-capture your magic at the Holiday Festival of Lights.  Your journey begins with a 3-mile drive through millions of sparkling lights and hundreds of light displays.  Then stretch your legs and your imagination at Santa’s Village & Winter Wonderland. When magic happens, lasting memories are made. 

Don’t miss the Winter Wonderland at the Picnic Center!!!

Featuring:

1.  New this Year…Kidsteam! 
Children will have a blast on the hand-powered train as they sped around the track!  Kidsteam is available every night, and tickets are $1 each.

2.  Giant Greeting Cards.  Created by local school groups, giant 4-by 8-foot holiday postcards are proudly displayed within Winter Wonderland.  The young Lowcountry artists compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place as part of a holiday art competition.  These life-size displays of holiday themes tower above and are well worth a visit.

3.  Photos with Santa.  Your visit is not complete until you see Santa!  Santa Claus and his elves are stationed at Winter Wonderland nightly from November 26 – December 23 as follows, Sunday – Thursday, 6–8pm & 8:20pm-9:30pm and Friday & Saturday, 6-8pm & 8:20pm-10:30pm.

4.  Portable Climbing Wall.  The 25-foot Portable Climbing Wall offers climbing for all ages and abilities.  No experience is needed, and our staff will assist with the safety procedures.  Three tickets allow two climbing attempts.  Tickets can be purchased for $1 each at Frosty’s Treats within Winter Wonderland.  Open nightly, Sunday – Thursday, 6-10pm and Friday & Saturday, 6-11pm.

5.  The Carousel.  Enjoy a ride on the traditional 18-animal carousel.  The carousel runs nightly with continuous sessions beginning at 6pm and rides lasting approximately two minutes.  Ticket sales end at 9:40pm Sunday – Thursday and 10:40pm Friday & Saturday at Park Center.

6.  Holiday Train Rides.  The train depot should be your first stop at Santa’s Village.  Hop aboard the CCPRC Railroad and travel through the Enchanted Forest for an intimate view of the lights!  The train runs nightly and departs every 20 minutes.  Rides are approximately 12 minutes.  Tickets are $3 per person and can be purchased at the boarding area.  Ages two and under are free if riding on parent’s lap.  Each train ride has limited capacity and scheduled rides sell out quickly.  We suggest purchasing your tickets as soon as you get to Santa’s Village.  Train Hours:  Sunday – Thursday, 6pm – 9:40pm, Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 10:40pm
 
 
 
Don’t forget the Gift Shops!!!
 
Santa’s Attic and The Incredible Gift Shoppe offer handcrafted holiday gifts including our official 24-carat gold collector series ornaments.  Shop for stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, personalized ornaments, and more! Along with Santa’s Sweet Shoppe  where you will spoil your sweet tooth and the  aroma of specialty coffees, candy, and fresh baked temptations of fudge and Christmas cookies fill the air. 

Come see the 50-Ton Holiday Sand Sculpture.  Meticulously crafted from over 50-tons of sand by Shadetree Studio, the holiday sand sculpture presents a different holiday scene each year.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

South Carolina Fall 2009 Quarterly Housing Market

Summary

Overall, economic growth in the housing industry and in the economy as a whole will continue in the coming months, but it will be slow. Banks dealing with defaults on commercial real estate loans will have difficulty extending new loans to builders and other investors, which will slow the economic growth of these industries. As a lagging economic indicator, unemployment will persist into 2010, and foreclosures and high housing vacancy rates will persist with it. This will lead to increased housing inventory and further reduction in house prices.
Even so, the South Carolina housing market has seen increases in permits since January and only small increases in delinquent mortgages in the past twelve months. These are positive signs and indicate that South Carolina is in a stable position relative to the rest of the nation. House prices continue to hold their value and are, on average, appreciating. There are expectations of growth in the South Carolina housing market, but to be realized, builders must identify their target markets carefully and recognize that the economic recovery will take time.

Highlights

The recession is most likely over. Most economic indicators suggest that we are now in a period of economic growth.  The banking industry is just beginning to absorb the losses from defaulting commercial real estate loans, which will make future loans of all kinds harder to acquire. Thus, despite the fact that the residential real estate market is showing signs of recovery, the recovery will be slow because of the increased difficulty for the home-building industry to obtain loans.  The high U.S. and South Carolina unemployment rate is expected to persist for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. Nevertheless, this is not an indication of a deteriorating overall economy. High unemployment generally lingers through the initial stages of economic recovery and is usually one of the last signs of recovery from a recession.  Additional foreclosures and increased housing vacancy rates are likely to accompany high unemployment. This will lead to additional inventory and reduced housing prices at the national level. South Carolina, however, has experienced house price appreciation throughout 2009, an increase in permit activity, and only small increases in foreclosure rates. These facts suggest not only that South Carolina is a relatively stable housing market, but also that much of the excess inventory has been eliminated.  In turn, South Carolina will be spared from some of the national consequences of additional foreclosures.

Click on this link for the complete report: 

http://www.screaltors.com/SCmarketRpt_Fall.pdf

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

 

 

"Carolina Joe" Just Listed Another One!!!

"CAROLINA JOE", YOUR REALTOR TO KNOW!

2494-D4 ETIWAN AVE CHARLESTON, SC 29414 LP: $69,700

MLS#: 2929565pvd – RES – SFA Status: Active
Area: (12) CHS-W.Ashley outside I-526 to Rantowles
Municipality: (11) CITY OF CHARLESTON
Bedrooms: 1 Apx SqFt: 662
Bths Ful/Hlf: 1/0 Tax Map#: 310-02-00-331
Stories: 2 Story Apx YrBlt: 1978
Address: 2494-D4 ETIWAN AVE
City: CHARLESTON Zip: 29414
Lot Size: 0 Acres: 0.00
Subdiv: MELROSE PARK Subsec:  
Grade Sch: OAKLAND Middle Sch: WEST ASHLEY
High Sch: WEST ASHLEY
Possessn: At Closing New/Owned: Pre-owned
Legal Desc: Unit 4-D
Style: Condo Fireplace:   Special:  
Roof: Fbr Gls Shng Foundation: Slab Floors: W/w Carpet, Vinyl
Cooling: Central Heat: Heat Pump Utilities: SCEandG, Chas Water Sys
Parking: Off-st Prkng        
        SqFt Source: Tax Records   $/Sqft: $105.29
Auction: N Auction Type:   Reserve Amt:  
Lot Desc: Level
Exterior: Brick – veneer, Vinyl Siding
Master BR: Upstairs
Other Rms: Family
Misc. Int: Blown Ceil
Misc. Extt:  
Wat/Sew: Public Water, Public Sewer
Amenities: Cable Available, Neighborhood Pool, Tennis Court, Club House, Laundry Facility, Other (use remarks)
Appliances: Elec Range, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Garbage Disp
Green Features:  

Directions: FROM SAVANNAH HIGHWAY TURN ON TO DOBBIN ROAD. MELROSE PARK IS STRAIGHT AHEAD ON THE RIGHT.
Showing: Mls Key L/b, Apptmnt Only, CSS 402-7400 Schedule Appointment using CSS
Remarks: THIS ONE BEDROOM, ONE BATHROOM CONDO IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. LOCATED JUST A FEW MINUTES FROM I-26, THE CITADEL MALL WITH AN EASY COMMUTE TO DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON. THIS HOME WOULD BE GREAT FOR SOMEONE WANTING THE CONVENIENCE OF BEING CLOSE TO TOWN. IDEAL HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER, STUDENT, OR INVESTOR. MELROSE PARK HAS A POOL, TENNIS COURT AND SAND VOLLEYBALL COURT. REGIME FEE IS $166/MONTH AND INCLUDES INSURANCE, POOL, TENNIS COURT, LAWN MAINTENANCE, WATER AND SEWER.

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Click on this link to veiw visual tour:  http://www.visualtour.com/showvt.asp?t=2044668

Home Buyer Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

1.  Question:  I am a first-time homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered, however, by the new income limits. If the new rules have been signed into law by the time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

 Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill. The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement, you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you're within the phase-out range).

2.  Question: I am an eligible first-time homebuyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the extension date affect me?

 Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30 (or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.

EXISTING HOMEOWNERS

1.  Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

 Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

2.  Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment (when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

3.  Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I have found a home with a non-negotiable price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an absolute ceiling.

4.  Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The keyword here is "consecutive." As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight, what he did since 3 years doesn't impact eligibility.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

 

HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT SUMMARY

1.  Extend through April 30, 2010 the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (up to $8,000 or up to 10 percent of the purchase price of the residence), allowing 60 days to close, provided that the homes are under a binding contract by that date; Provide homebuyer tax credit of up to $6,500 to owners who have been in the same principal residence for five consecutive years during the previous eight years.

2.  Increase the income limitations to $125,000 for indivi uals and $225,000 for joint filers.

3.  Phase out the credit for individuals with incomes above $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for joint filers at the same rate as current law (over the next $20,000).

3.  Limit the credit to purchases of principal residences equal to or less than $800,000.

4.  Eliminate the 36-month recapture requirement for military personnel, including members of the Foreign Service and intelligence community, forced to sell as a result of an official extended duty of service.

5.  Extend the tax credit for one year for military personnel serving outside the United States for at least 90 days in 2009 or 2010.

The bill includes anti-fraud language. The measure would not extend the credit to taxpayers under the age of 18 on the date of purchase unless that person is married to a taxpayer above the age of 18. The amendment would also require a properly executed copy of the settlement statement to be attached to the tax return. Moreover, the substitute would expand the restriction on a residence acquired from a family member to include a residence acquired from a spouse’s family member.  The bill would also extend math and clerical error authority to the Internal Revenue Service.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Let’s Learn a Little about Seabrook Island SC

Seabrook is a private island resort Edged by 3 miles of wide beaches and pristine dunes along the South Carolina coast with a population just over 1,300.  Club members and their guests enjoy two championship golf courses, a tennis center, horseback riding, a fitness center and many other amenities. Seabrook Island also boasts two new property owner’s facilities the 3,500 square feet Island Club House and The Lake House a new recreation facility.  Yet, despite its peaceful seclusion, Seabrook Island is conveniently located less than 30 minutes from all the charms of Charleston, the south's most romantic city.

Local points of interest are The Island Bohicket Marina, The Freshfields Village, Beachwalker County Park, Equestrian Center, Golfing, The Sanctuary Hotel, and many Fine Restaurants.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

Let’s Learn a Little About Mount Pleasant South Carolina

Mount Pleasant is the fifth largest municipality in South Carolina, and for several years it was one of the state's fastest growing areas, literally doubling in population size between 1990 and 2000.   As of 2007, the town had an estimated population of 64,707.  Sitting just across beautiful Charleston Harbor and connected to the historic city by the new 8 lane Arthur Ravenel Bridge, the charming town of Mount Pleasant is a sought-after residential real estate address.  Beyond the old village, Mt. Pleasant extends through well planned neighborhoods to the edge of the Francis Marion National Forest.  High waterfront bluffs adorned with antebellum homes and towering oaks offer a town-within-a-town character in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village District.   A variety of desirable properties range from waterfront  homes, lots and town homes along winding, pristine creeks such as Shem Creek,  Hobcaw Creek ,  and Beresford Creek,  the  scenic Wando and Cooper rivers,  and the expansive marshes along a fifteen-mile stretch the intracostal waterway.   For the golfer, there are numerous courses.

Points of interest include Patriot Point, Charleston county Parks Mount Pleasant Fishing Peir, Boone Hall Plantation, Charles Pinckney National Site, Boone Hall Plantation, Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Golfing, The Village Playhouse, Shem Creek Marina, Old Historic Downtown, Palmetto Islands County Park, Fine Restaurants.

Local subdivisions include, but are not limited to Belle Hall, Brickyard Plantation, Creekside, Grassy Creek, Ion Village, Hamlin Plantation, Molasses Creek, Oakhaven, Olde Park, Snee Farms, The Groves, The Old Village, Charleston National, Darrell Creek, Dunes West, Park West, Rivertowne, Dunes West, Laurel Hill Plantation, and Planters Pointe.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

The Lowcountry Fall Festival at Rosebank Farms

This is the 5th annual Fall Festival at Rosebank Farms located on Johns Island just before the round about for Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island.  The festival will be held Saturday November 14th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  There is no charge. 

Schedule of events

1.  You will be able to see sugar cane being ground with mule and the juice being cooked down to molasses.  During the molasses making Sidi Limehouse will be giving a historical accurate description of the molasses making process.  The molasses making process will be held at 10:30 and 2:00. 

2.  Learn how to use seasonal vegetables, flowers, and grasses to make unique table arrangements.  Demonstrations begin at 10:30.

3.  At 11:00 watch The southern Farmers Market Cookbook author and cordon Bleu trained chef Holly Herrick prepare selected recipes from her book.

4.  From 12 noon till 1:30 enjoy lunch.  Lunch is $12.

5.  After lunch enjoy naturalist Billy McCord for an informative lecture about butterflies and a tour around the farm looking at butterflies.

6.  At 2:00 enjoy a demonstration on making a broom from broomcorn.

7.  Throughout the day there will be horse drawn cart rides for the kid.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

2009 Kiawah Arts Festival

Come to the Kiawah Island Sandcastle community center November 13th, 14th, and 15th for the 2009 Arts Fest.  Talented local artists will display their fine arts, crafts, and photography for entertainment and purchase.

Friday, November 13th the hours ore 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and will feature a wine and cheese reception. 

Saturday November 14th the hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sunday November 15th the hours are 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

There is no charge for the event.  Please RSVP for the wine and cheese reception by November 6th.  To RSVP or for additional information contact the Sandcastle at 843-768-3875, or email at sandcastle@kica.us

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

"Carolina Joe" Just Sold Another One!!!

"CAROLINA JOE", YOUR REALTOR TO KNOW!

5 MIDDLETON CT CHARLESTON, SC 29403 LP: $45,000

MLS#: 2922137pd – RES – SFD Status: Sold
Area: (52) CHS-Peninsula Chas. outside of crosstown
Municipality: (11) CITY OF CHARLESTON
Bedrooms: 2 Apx SqFt: 900
Bths Ful/Hlf: 2/2 Tax Map#: 463-11-04-072
Stories: 1 Story Apx YrBlt: 1959
Address: 5 MIDDLETON CT
City: CHARLESTON Zip: 29403
Lot Size: 33X90 Acres: 0.00
Subdiv: WAGENER TERRACE Subsec:  
Grade Sch: JAMES SIMONS Middle Sch: BURKE
High Sch: BURKE
Possessn: At Closing New/Owned: Pre-owned
Legal Desc: LEGAL: LT 5
Sold Price: $45,000 DOM/CDOM/DUC: 0/0 / 79 NewMortType: CASH
Close Date: 11/04/2009 CntrctDate: 08/17/2009 PrjClsDate:  
Sell Off: (1836) AGENTOWNED CHAS. GROUP
Phone: (843) 769-5100
Sell Agent: (12460) JOE IDLEMAN
Phone: (843) 557-9203
Sell Co-Off: () Seller Concessions: N Sell Co-Agent: ()

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Homebuyer’s Tax Credit Passes

The House House yesterday and the Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to extend the $8,000 home buyer tax credit to May 1, 2010, for first-time buyers and add a $6,500 tax credit for repeat buyers if they've lived in their home for five of the past eight years. Home prices are capped at $800,000. 

The legislation in both houses was included in a bill to extend unemployment benefits and is expected to be signed by President Obama shortly.

Under the bill, income limits are expanded to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for joint filers. Individuals with incomes up to $145,000 and joint filers with incomes up to $245,000 qualify for reduced credits.

Households who have binding contracts in place by April 30 will be allowed an additional 60 days to complete their transaction. The deadline for members of the military serving out the U.S. for at least 90 days between Jan. 1, 2009, and May 1, 2010, has been extended one year.

Taxpayers can claim the credit on their federal income tax returns. If the credit exceeds their tax bill, the government will issue a check. Taxpayers will be able to claim the credit on their 2009 income tax return for purchases made in 2010.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.  To look for homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

"Carolina Joe" Just Listed Another One!!!

"CAROLINA JOE", YOUR REALTOR TO KNOW!

5 HOMEL PL CHARLESTON, SC 29403-4152 LP: $160,000

MLS#: 2928806pvd – RES – SFD Status: Active
Area: (52) CHS-Peninsula Chas. outside of crosstown
Municipality: (11) CITY OF CHARLESTON
Bedrooms: 3 Apx SqFt: 1,244
Bths Ful/Hlf: 1/1 Tax Map#: 463-15-04-031
Stories: 1 Story Apx YrBlt: 1920
Address: 5 HOMEL PL
City: CHARLESTON Zip: 29403-4152
Lot Size: 41' X 72' X 41' X 78' Acres: 0.07
Subdiv: NORTH CENTRAL Subsec:  
Grade Sch: JAMES SIMONS Middle Sch: BURKE
High Sch: BURKE
Possessn: At Closing New/Owned: Pre-owned
Legal Desc: LEGAL: LT 12 !
Style: Traditnl Fireplace:   Special:  
Roof: Asphalt Shng Foundation: Crawl Space Floors: W/w Carpet, Wood, Ceramic Tile
Cooling:   Heat:   Utilities:  
Parking: Off-st Prkng        
        SqFt Source: List Agent   $/Sqft: $128.62
Auction: N Auction Type:   Reserve Amt:  
Lot Desc:  
Exterior: Wood Siding, Other (use remarks)
Master BR:  
Other Rms: Family, Laundry
Misc. Int:  
Misc. Extt: Screen Porch, Part'l Fence
Wat/Sew: Public Water, Public Sewer
Amenities: Cable Available, Trash Pickup
Appliances: Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Washer Conn, Dryer Conn
Green Features:  

Directions: FROM EITHER RUTLEDGE AVENUE, OR KING STREET TURN ON TO MAVERICK STREET. TURN ON TO HOMEL PLACE HOUSE IS ON THE LEFT.
Showing: Mls Key L/b, Apptmnt Only, CSS 402-7400 Schedule Appointment using CSS
Remarks: LOCATED A SHORT COMMUTE TO DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON, THE MEDICAL COMPLEXES, AND THE COLLEGES THIS 3 BEDROOM 1.5 BATH HOME IN NORTH CENTRAL SUBDIVISION OF DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON HAS BEEN PARTIALLY RENOVATED BY THE OWNER. EXTERIOR SIDING NEEDS COMPLETED, DRIVEWAY AND SIDEWALKS NEED POURED ALONG WITH SOME INTERIOR WORK INCLUDING TRIM, DOORS, AND PAINT. NEW JACUZZI IN BATHROOM. THIS HOME NEEDS SOME WORK AND IS PRICED ACCORDINGLY. NO HEATING/AC SYSTEM. THERE IS A 7' X 13.5' PARTIALLY COMPLETED STORAGE BUILDING IN THE BACKYARD.
List Agent: (12460) JOE R. IDLEMAN, ABR Type/Comp/SubAccept:  Exclusive Right to Sell/3 %/Y
List Office: (1836) AGENTOWNED CHAS. GROUP Variable: N
    Limited Svc: N
Co-Off: () Co-Agt: ()
Contacts:  

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