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Elloree, South Carolina

Historic, safe Elloree (population 700) is nestled in central South Carolina, about an hour south of Columbia, and it has been cited by national publications as an example of small town revitalization done right.

A farming community for much of its existence, Elloree now has a town core dotted with antique stores, interesting restaurants and specialty shops. Everyone here seems to know everyone else, and the town has a friendly reputation. There are several parks, and community garden clubs help ensure that the green spaces stay clean and well manicured.

The Elloree Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is a beautiful facility that celebrates Elloree's past and sponsors Victorian teas, craft classes, lectures and an annual auction. Elloree also comes together for the annual Pork Fest, the Taste of Elloree and the Christmas Parade.

Santee State Park and 110,000-acre Lake Marion are just to the east. Some neighborhoods toward the lake have community boat ramps and custom homes on large lots.

Cost of Living

Elloree is an affordable small town with an overall cost of living 25% less than the national average.

The town is 27% less expensive than Nashville, Tennessee, 30% less expensive than Orlando, Florida and 25% less expensive than Cottonwood, Arizona.

The median household income is $37,500.

Real Estate

The median home price is $92,145. This is a 1% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $285,101.

Estimates are that Elloree housing values will decline by 2.2% over the next year.

The median rental price is $650 per month.

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Growth and Drawbacks

Elloree has maintained its population during the last decade. The poverty rate is slightly above the national average.

Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Elloree is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

South Carolina auto sales are taxed at 6%.

The state does not tax Social Security and residents age 65 or better can exclude up to $10,000 of retirement income and up to $15,000 ($30,000 married) from all taxable income. However, the deduction must be reduced by the amount of retirement income excluded.

The property tax rate is approximately $600 per $100,000 in assessed value, although the rate drops to $400 (4%) if the homeowner lives in the home and claims it as his legal residence (application for the 4% rate is required).

For homeowners 65 and better, the state also exempts the first $50,000 of a property’s fair market value. Without the exemption and using the 6% tax rate, the annual taxes on a $92,145 home are approximatley $552.

Desire a Nicer Home Without a Mortgage Payment?

If so, consider a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase. This is a reverse mortgage that lets people age 62+ purchase a new home by using a reverse mortgage.

How does it work? Buyers must put down approximately 45% to 62% of the new home's purchase price, depending on the buyer's age and other factors. This money usually comes from the buyer selling his current home. The rest of the purchase funds come from the HECM loan.

For example, a person sells his home and nets $250,000 from the sale. With a HECM for Purchase Loan he can then buy a new $450,000 home by putting down $225,000 (50%), keeping $25,000 cash in his pocket and financing the remaining $225,000 home price with the reverse mortgage loan. Best yet, the buyer has no monthly mortgage payments.

Talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender for more information.

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