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Edisto Beach, South Carolina

Diminutive Edisto Beach sits on Edisto Island at the mouth of the Edisto River on the southern South Carolina coast. Surrounded by marshland, Edisto State Park and the sea, Edisto Beach is a quiet seaside hamlet and home to the historic Plantation Golf Course.

The four miles of pristine, white sand oceanfront beaches have no food stands, lifeguards or crowds. From May through October, sea turtles nest in the sand and dogs must stay off the beach. Large stilt homes line the shore and reach inland for about five blocks.

The Edisto Art Guild hosts a concert series, an art walk, and community theater productions. The marina boasts live music, ecotours and fishing charters. Bay Creek Park has an interpretive center, a crabbing dock and a weekly arts and crafts market.

Edisto State Park sponsors turtle talks and turtle walks. Visitors enjoy fishing for flounder or spottail in the salt marshes or along the shore. The park is also an excellent place to launch a kayak adventure into Big Bay Creek.


Cost of Living

Edisto Beach has overall cost of living 17% above the national average. The median household income is $83,750.

Real Estate

The median home price in Edisto Beach is $475,000. This is a 9% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $385,000.

Estimates are that Edisto Beach real estate values will increase by 3% over the next year.

The median rental price is $2,290 per month.

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Notes

Edisto is home to 610 people and has maintained its population during the last decade.

The median age is 67. The national median age is 38.

Edisto Beach does not have a hospital. The nearest one is 20 miles away in Beaufort.

The crime rate is below the national average.

Hurricane Irma flooded parts of Edisto Beach in 2017. The community could flood again in the future.

There is just one road in and out. Charleston is about 50 miles away.

Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Edisto Beach is 8%.

South Carolina does not tax Social Security, and residents age 65 or better may exclude up to $10,000 of all types of retirement income or up to $15,000 ($30,000 married) of all taxable income. Income above the $15,000 is taxed between 0% and 7%, depending on the amount.

For people who are 65 or better and who have lived in their home for at least one year, the state offers a homestead exemption of $50,000 of the home's fair market value.

The average effective property tax rate (the annual tax payment as a percentage of median home value) in Edisto Beach is .65%. The annual taxes on a $475,000 home are approximatley $3,088, without a homestead exemption.

Mortgages for Retirees

As people live longer and mortgage rates are at historic lows, more and more retired folks are considering obtaining a mortgage rather than paying cash for a new home. You are never "too old" to get a mortgage, thanks to the Equal Opportunity Credit Act, as long as you have the means to do so.

Having said that, retirees face some unique challenges when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders will look at the same criteria as they would for a young first time homebuyer, including your credit history, debt to income ratio and monthly income. The good news is that Social Security benefits and distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts count as income.

However, because retirement accounts become depleted over time they have a defined expiration date. As a result, a mortgage lender will want to know that the distribution income will continue for at least three years after the date of the mortgage application.

It is also important to keep in mind that if your retirement accounts consist of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds or other "volitle" investments, mortgage lenders will only use 70% of the value in the retirement accounts to determine your mortgage qualifcation.

And while Social Security counts as income, if you are drawing on a family member’s record, such as survivor benefits or spousal benefits, then the income must be documented as payable for at least three years from the mortgage application date.

If you cannot qualify for a traditional mortgage, then a reverse mortgage might be an option. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have programs that can make home buying easier. Check with a reverse mortgage lender or these goverment agencies to see loans and programs available to you.

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