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North Augusta, South Carolina

North Augusta (population 23,000) is a nice town on the northern shore of the Savannah River in western South Carolina. It is just across the river from Augusta, Georgia, home to the annual Masters Golf Tournament, and started out in the late-1700s. It later established itself as a resort town in the early-1900s, drawing Northerners during the winter months. Some homes from the early days still stand.

The North Augusta Cultural Arts Council presents concerts in the park as well as other events. The beautiful Arts and Heritage Center showcases local history and has two galleries. The Living History Park highlights mid-18th century Colonial life through reencactments, demonstrations, fairs and more. The Nike Peach Jam, Savannah River Paddle Fest and popular Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee add to the sense of community.

Parks are good supply. The Greeneway trail is a particular point of pride, traversing 12 miles of woodlands and running along the river. Neighborhoods are leafy well-kept, and the downtown is in good shape.

Cost of Living

North Augusta is an affordable town with an overall cost of living 12% less than the national average.

The town is 28% less expensive than Prescott, Arizona, 20% less expensive than Clermont, Florida and 45% less expensive than Franklin, Tennessee.

The median household income is $50,771.

Real Estate

The median home value is $168,244. This is a 4.1% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $248,850.

Estimates are that North Augusta housing values will decline by 1.5% over the next year.

The median rental price is $778 per month.

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Growth

North Augusta has grown by 8% during the last decade.

Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for North Augusta is 8%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

South Carolina auto sales are taxed at 6%. Aiken County does not add a tax on top of that.

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 $168,244 home are approximatley $1,010.

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 will have no monthly mortgage payments.

Talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender for more information.

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