The real estate closing process can be a whirlwind. My clients come in and we start through the mountain of paperwork necessary when a mortgage loan is involved. There are several things I go over with all my client, which seem to be forgotten after the closing. Here is a list of a few helpful tips to consider in the months after your closing:
- Do not pay a company for a copy of your deed. Clients commonly call and ask if they will need to pay for a copy of their deed, and the answer is no. We send all our clients their original deed, but it does take some time, as we do not receive it back from Beaufort County for about 4-6 weeks after closing.
- Always confirm that an entity claiming to be your new servicer is in fact your new servicer. When a mortgage is recorded, your name, loan amount and address are immediately available to the public. As a result there may be people who prey on the honest and request you start making you mortgage payments to them, only to find out later that you are in default on your mortgage because the payments have been sent to the wrong place. Always confirm with your most recent servicer or lender that it did in fact transfer your loan before making future payments.
- If you are in South Carolina and your new home purchase is going to serve as your primary residence, make sure you apply for the primary residence real estate tax rate. In Beaufort County the appropriate form can be found here: Primary Residence 4% Form.
- Always review your tax or assessment notice. If you have a real estate escrow account your tax bill will be sent to your lender, but you will receive a similar notice. Review the notice to make sure the assessed value seems right, and if have submitted the primary residence form, make sure you are being taxed at 4% and that you are not being taxed for School Operations.
- If you are over the age of 65 and live in South Carolina, you may be eligible for the Homestead Exemption, which is a reduction of the assessed value by $50,000.00. In Beaufort County you can apply for the Homestead Exemption through the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office.
Harvey & Battey, P.A. has a full service real estate department and provides services for both consumer and commercial real estate lending, as well as representation of financial banking institutions in real estate transactions. If you have any real estate related questions, please give Kevin Dukes a call at (843) 524-3109, and our team will get to work for you.