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Located in the outlying western midsection of South Carolina, and within three driving hours from Atlanta, Charleston and Columbia, Aiken rose from farming roots. It has a nice atmosphere with lots going on, like music and art events. Aiken is only 17 miles from the famous links of Georgia�s Augusta National. Over 30 stables and 13 golf courses are in and around Aiken. There is temperate year-round climate combined with a strong sense of historic conservation have made the small town a top choice for retirement.
The University of South Carolina (USC) campus is here, there are pleasant restaurants, a great staff in the hospital, and easy shopping. There are plays at the USC-Aiken Etheridge Center and at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts downtown. Woodside Plantation has three challenging golf course and an affordable country club membership.
Special equestrian events take place in the fall, and rides can be found in Hitchcock Woods, considered the largest urban forest in the U.S. A county historical museum sits on the north end of the park, while Hopelands Gardens, a former plantation with a horse museum and outdoor concert pavilion, sits at the south end. Aiken has a historical downtown, where several excellent restaurants, upscale boutiques, outdoor cafes and gift shops have been established amidst the local hardware stores and banks. There are several residential golf communities, including Cedar Creek, located just outside Aiken and surrounded by horse farms.
Among its amenities are an 18-hole golf course, lighted tennis courts, unique Olympic sized swimming pool and bicycle paths. A scenic 3.5 mile walking trail wends through part of the 1,000 plus acres that have been set aside as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. About 16 miles west o Aiken, Mount Vintage Plantation opened in 2000 and is situated on 4000 acres. The focal point of its championship golf course is a 1840s Piedmont plantation home that has been restore and now serves as the clubhouse. There are several assisted living facilities scattered around town, as well as new condos.
Among its amenities are an 18-hole golf course, lighted tennis courts, unique Olympic sized swimming pool and bicycle paths. A scenic 3.5 mile walking trail wends through part of the 1,000 plus acres that have been set aside as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. About 16 miles west o Aiken, Mount Vintage Plantation opened in 2000 and is situated on 4000 acres. The focal point of its championship golf course is a 1840s Piedmont plantation home that has been restore and now serves as the clubhouse. There are several assisted living facilities scattered around town, as well as new condos. If these great attributes in addition to warm southern hospitality and beautiful scenery are things you look for in a home, but would like to be closer to the beach, allow Keadle Real Estate to help you find the perfect place.
5% state tax, plus a 1% Aiken County tax on all goods, including food.
Graduate in six tiers ranging from 2.5% on taxable income of $2,530 to 7% on taxable income of $12,650 (minus $367).
Social Security benefits are exempts from state income taxes, and that portion of benefits taxed at the federal level is deducible from South Carolina taxable income. There is an exemption of up to $3,000 in any pensions if under age 65 and up to $10,000 if pensions if 65 or older. Each person age 65 and older receives an age deduction of $15,000 off an income, although that�s reduced by the amount of retirement exemption taken.
Owner-occupied homes are assessed at 4% of market value. In Aiken, there is a county rate of .2141 and a city rate of .071 for a total rate of $285.10 per $1,000. Taxes on a $162,000 home would be about $950 with homestead exemption, $1520 without exemption. Both figures reflect a deduction of about $327 for the school tax exemption, set at a rate of .0818 on up to $100,000 of home value.
The first $50000 of the fair market value of a home is exempt from property taxes for citizens over 65.
More than 40 major denominations are represented in several dozen Aiken churches.
The University of South Carolina at Aiken has approximately 3,200 undergraduate students, with degrees offered in 30 major areas of study as well as masters program. Aiken Technical College is also located in Aiken.
Aiken Regional Medical Centers has 230 beds and a staff of about 1,000, including 120 doctors representing 39 specialties. The facility is equipped for a broad range of medical needs. Emergency care, open-heart surgery and coronary care are specialties, along with two other centers devoted to detection and treatment of cancer and diabetes. ARMC�s Women�s LifeCare Center concentrates on breast cancer detection, and a senior wellness program is dedicated to a variety of services to those over 50 at no charge.
While the average home sold in Aiken is $162,000 there is a wide range of choices, from small starter homes to large elegant estates. Single family homes range from the $300,000�s to the millions. While smaller houses in Aiken proper may approach the average cost, homes in the historic district often start at $500,000.
Patio homes, condos, country houses and several golf communities� prices start at $150,000. One of the most established is Houndslake, 888-346-8637, where patio homes start at about $300,000 and villas and bungalows begin at $150,000. Resales in Houndslake average about $90 per square foot.
Woodside Plantation, 800-648-3052, a gated country club community covering over 2,300 acres, contains three golf courses, including a Jack Nicklaus design. Patio and single family home and lot packages being at $225,000; cottage homes begin at $26,000.
Cedar Creek 800-937-5362, a 14-year old golf community several miles south of Aiken near the town of Ellenton, offers homesites from the mid $50,000s and custom homes with sites from $325,000.
Mount Vintage Plantations, 803-278-5000, is a golf course community about 16 miles west of Aiken. Many homesites border the 18-hole championship course. Lot prices start in the $40,000�s and larger estate tracts ranging from three to 10 acres can go up to $395,000.
Assisted living communities include Shadow Oaks (803-643-0300), and Eden Gardens (803-642-8444). There are more than 30 apartment complexes in and around town, including Verandas on the Green (803-649-3468) where two bedroom, 1,000 square foot apartments run $679 a month.
A number of real estate agencies operate in Aiken, including Eulalie Salley & Co (803-648-7851). For equestrians, several agencies specialize in properties accommodating horses, including Biddle Reality (803-648-7874).
The wonderfully restored Willcox Inn (877-648-2200) with other 22 rooms, runs $175 a night and up. Hotel Aiken (877-817-6690), a completely remodeled turn of the century hotel in downtown Aiken, has rooms starting at around $65. The guest House at Houndslake, (800-735-4587) is a comfortable 34 room lodge on the golf course with rooms starting at $79. Special rates are available through the real estate office, (888-346-8637). A number of bed and breakfast houses are located in Aiken, including Annies Inn, (803-64-6836); Carriage House Inn (803-644-5888) and Crossways Plantation (803-644-4746) with rooms starting around $90. A number of standard hotels and motels are available downtown, including Days Inn, from $42 (803-649-5524), Quality Inn and Suites, $60- $80 (803-641-1100), and Econo Lodge, from $45 (803-649-3968).
Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. East PO Box 892, Aiken SC 29802 (803-641-1111) or http://www.aikenchamber.net.