Rising home values could mean higher taxes in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Realtors say 50 percent of homes are sold in the summer. This is especially good news for the Grand Strand, because many are noticing rising home values.

A local appraiser's office tells WMBF News that this is the busiest he's been in five years. Mortgage companies are writing out more loans than they have in the past, and sellers want to know what they can sell for. Appraisers have been marking big increases in the value of homes in the area, some nearly 10 percent in just one year. One area that's really going up in value is Murells Inlet.

But it's not all across the Grand Strand - some homes are doing better than others. The places that aren't doing well are because of specific circumstances, and are areas that are still stuck with foreclosures and distressed sales. Despite some pockets, one local appraiser says overall, the market seems to be moving up at a healthy pace.

"The housing market is getting back into a normal scenario," explained appraiser Ki Thompson. "It's correcting itself from the major decline. You are seeing a little bit of growth. A whole lot more activity."

It's an important time to know the value of your home, because 2014 is a reassessment year for Horry County. Appraisers say an increase in the value of your home could mean an increase in how much you pay for property taxes. WMBF News talked with Horry County Assessor Rendel Mincey, who says it isn't a simple equation, and it doesn't mean you'll have to pay that much more in taxes.

Every five years, there's a reassessment year that determines how much you should be paying. Since the more than 2,000 Horry County neighborhoods in the market are recovering at different paces, the assessments that come out of this year will have a wide range of taxes. It will be very different from house to house.

Mincey says it depends on where the value of your home stood in 2008, and what has happened over the past 5 years.

"All these things come into play in this reassessment," said Mincey. "There's no general statement that's going to fit each individual tax payer as to what they may see on their notices."

Horry County will start notifying homeowners in August, and bills with the new tax amount will start showing up in October.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.