Buyer Agent Ramblings: Property Tax

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Columbia

One of the most important roles I play as a Realtor is an educator. Prospective home buyers come from both ends of the spectrum concerning their knowledge of real estate. Some that I meet with have studied the entire purchase process while others have done nothing but decided they want to purchase a home. I love working with both!

Property taxes tend to be a concern for many buyers as they look over the property tax history and see that the tax bill for a home has fluctuated significantly. It can be frightening realizing that the home you like has gone from $900 in taxes one year to over $3000 the next. That's why I work to educate my clients on these items throughout the process.

In South Carolina, the answer is almost always that the seller is no longer claiming the house as their legal residence. Our owner occupancy taxes are 4% of the assessed value and owner occupants often have tax credits that bring the bill lower. Additionally, if the owner is over 65, they may be receiving homestead exemption which is a significant cut to their tax bill. However, when you no longer claim the property as your primary residence the charge is now 6% and often there are less credits bringing this bill down. 

Property taxes are an ongoing conversation with my clients as it is extremely important that they remember to notify the county post closing that they are living in the house as their primary residence. Otherwise, their estimate mortgage payments are going to be quite off when the bill is due.

Posted by

Carolina Girls Team

(803) 429-3812


Keller Williams Columbia

1 Harbison Way, Columbia SC 29210

Comments (3)

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Mary Grace (Ballew) MacDougall we have a similar situation here in AZ. A few years ago our property categories were slimed down to two, Primary Residence or Non-Primary Residence. Of course we have a lot of second homes here which are not rentals, but not primary either. So taxes on non-primary can be much higher.

Jan 23, 2019 10:22 AM
Mary Grace (Ballew) MacDougall

That's good to know! The tax difference int hese categories is part of why it is often less expensive to purchase a home than to rent in the Columbia market.

Jan 23, 2019 11:21 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Mary Grace- I'm sure that many first time buyers don't think about property taxes when buying. Many of the homes in South Florida are owned by snow birds who have another residence typically up north. 

Jan 23, 2019 06:04 PM
Mary Grace (Ballew) MacDougall

We have a good number of snow birds as well! It's definitley an important topic to discuss!

Jan 24, 2019 07:13 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Mary Grace, great information for those moving into South Carolina, and we do see taxes on the East coast are higher.

Jan 24, 2019 05:24 AM