Hilton Head Island Bits & Bytes...OCT '18

   Happy FALL

This letter is a bit early for October.  Our storm season is still not over, and we need to send help, money, prayers and everything else to our neighbors in the northern part of the state and in North Carolina.  A hurricane is usually a quick hit, but this one lingered so long, no one (NOAA or even Noah) could come to the rescue for all the flooding.

To my Western and Northern friends~
Five days after it hit, I finally declared myself “safe” on Facebook.  The calls, texts and emails were nonstop.  I thank you for that, truly.  If it happened during a real emergency, all my devices would have been dead (like in the aftermath of Matthew.)  Hate to say this but the Carolinas are not like a hot dog sliced lengthways in half.  That’s kind of like Tennessee and Kentucky (with a little relish on the east upper end of KY.)

South Carolina is like a huge diamond (with the 2 big ends on the coast). The northern part as the crow flies is many many miles away.  I could swear with all the estuaries and inlets, it’s 400+ miles. (Actually as the crow flies, a lot closer.)  It takes 5 hours to drive it.  

If you need to know our weather and how the storms affect us, just look up Savannah, Georgia.  It’s so close many of us can see it from our windows...and that’s where the weather system shows you what’s happening in our part of the Low Country.  The weather channels have become another system of hype, that we are starting to mostly ignore. They live for this stuff. 

Online, the North American Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) and local channels are the best indicators.  Always Google:  NOAA cone Florence (insert...current hurricane name) and hit “cone” once in the site and you’ll get a picture of what’s happening much faster...and much more accurately.  There is such a thing called the European Model, but this will suffice.

We were lucky.  Nothing happened...no rain...no wind.  But we had an early evacuation that cost the Island businesses quite a bit, even up through Charleston.  I guess “better safe than sorry.”  We always try and wait to see what the highs, lows and cones look like before we leave.


A couple of pretty dead weeks of real estate (due to the above), after a great few months of summer sales.  As I type this we are just into fall and the weather is gorgeous - the prettiest time of year.  Since I-95 finally opened last week, that surely did not help!


Kudos to Sherwin Williams.  It “redefines what paint can do” adding antimicrobials to its paint.  This is great news for those obsessed with whatever.

I remember every time us kids would land face first in the dirt, Daddy would always say “trace minerals are good for you” as we were getting back up on that bike.  This paint news comes just as I buy my first bottle of “trace minerals” in capsule form. This paint will then take care of the extra stuff on the dirt.


In Kiplinger Tax Letter (mid July) reported that your “capital gains tax rate is based on set income thresholds, which will be adjusted annually for inflation.  For 2018, the 0% rate applies to taxpayers with taxable income under $77,200 for joint returns ($38,600 for singles) and the 20% rate starts at $479,000 for joint returns ($425,800 for singles)” ~ 15% for in between”....everyone else.

The 3.8% surtax from the old President is still in effect.  Call your accountant if you need help.  It affects couples earning over $250,000.


Your property tax appeals.  You probably have been sent a one-sheet explanation of your tax value for assessment a week or so ago.  Look it over.  The assessments are marked.  They are supposed to be for 2017 by end-of-year.  Unless there is something drastic, remember you are dealing, I have found out, with less than clever people.  So, do not appeal if you are within 10% up or down of that figure.  Or sometimes, even 15%.  It can come back to bite you!

I have only appealed 4 times in 35 years...on a car tax one time (it was reduced by several thousand dollars), once when a property had an estimated value of $111,000 and they said $153,000 - waiting on this one).  Another time when they had an estimated value of $224,000 and I was able to get it down to $44,000 (I bought it for $21,000 as did other people that same year).  I felt fortunate.  Finally when I applied for a dock permit and paid for years not knowing it was on my bill...not any indication on the main page.  Never received any compensation for the years I paid, however.  Was able to get it off, as it wasn’t just any dock, but as my local assessor friend told me...”the Cadillac of docks.”  Brilliance in Beaufort is not often evident.  Somehow they got wind of the permit, and voila!

The Assessors office will throw some gibberish at you like “I guess you wouldn’t pay that amount for your home, would you?”  Of course I would.  It’s my home.  Grrrr.

Please do not call me.  Do read this and respond to your notice by November 29, if you wish to appeal - if you think something is blatantly wrong.


Finally...buying your place furnished:

Some of you buy with your home or villa (condo) with furnishings and accessories.  If you do, I’d suggest two ways of looking at this.  The more you pay for the furniture, you can depreciate it at a greater rate.  The less you pay for furniture, the less taxes you have to pay yearly to the county.  

If you’ve paid a dollar and you have proof, the county will bill you (if you rent your property out) based minimally on your appliances that they figure you have in the place, at $200.  So keep a receipt of your “furniture purchase” when you buy your property that comes furnished.  Oftentimes that’s just $1 to $10.


Have a great Halloween 🎃 There are parties everywhere.
Enjoy and be safe out there. 
And...see you at the beach!


Roni Kincaid
843 384 4001
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Hilton Head Realty
23C Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC
Roni Kincaid
Roni Kincaid

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