Real Estate Information

Supporting Life's Major Moves in Augusta

Carey Miller


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 36

Tax Sales--Homes sold due to taxes not being paid

by Carey Miller

I went to the Tax Sale (property sold because the taxes were NOT paid) in Richmond County last week and learned a lot from Steven Kendrick the Tax Commissioner that I can apply to Columbia County too.  Steven is also an instructor at the Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate School so he has been conducting some informational sessions just for Blanchard and Calhoun.

Five houses were sold last week, for instance, one sold for $30,000 and has a market value of about $98,000 ( I haven’t seen the house in person, but I have seen a picture and looking at neighborhood info., it has a value close to $100,000). For instance another one sold for $3,000 and has a value of about $60,000. If you are the winning bid, you have to pay by certified funds within 2 hours of the sale ending.

The hitch is that on a normal tax sale, you get a Sheriff’s deed, that means the title is not fully warranted, it probably has a cloud on it, in other words, the title isn’t clean. It is fine if you are going to rent the property and don’t plan to sell it. The title just needs to be clean to sell it in the future. This can sometimes cost a few thousand dollars and an attorney to get the title free and clear. The other hitch is that since there is a redemption period (the owners have the right to pay up on the taxes and pay a 20% or 30% penalty within the first year) so you don’t own it for 12 months. BUT if they come back, they pay you what you bought it for and the 20 or 30% premium, depending on the situation. If they don’t pay, the property is yours.

The interesting and good thing is that some properties in Richmond County are going to start using a Judicial Tax Sale in November 2018, this will mean that a judge has already seen the file and issued a clean title so you can get title insurance and you have a marketable title and you have the ability to sell the property without any title issues. You excellent thing is that you get title in 60 days, not the 12 months that you have to wait on a normal tax sale property. In this scenario, there is no 20 or 30% premium, you would just get your money back if the seller paid their taxes.

This is interesting for investors!





Buyer Under Contract Process

by Carey Miller

You find a house, you like it, you put in a contract, now what? This 2 minute pictorial explains the process from start to finish!

The Community Voted!

by Carey Miller


The local community, Augusta Chronicle subscribers, and my loyal clients have voted Carey Miller--Blanchard and Calhoun as Best Real Estate Agent in their 2018 Cyber City's Best Awards. I am honored to get to be a part of this great tradition, thank you for everyone's continued support!

This annual award is the result of the local community nominating businesses who far exceed their expectations and then ultimately voting on the Community Winner in each category. 


Things to do before you list your house, a discussion with Metro Augusta Home Inspections inspector Shane Johnson. We discuss if a seller should have a pre-listing inspection prior to listing a house to sell. #alwayshaveahomeinspection

Earnest Money versus Down Payment

by Carey Miller

It does not matter if you are a first time home buyer or you have bought houses frequently, the terminology can get confusing. Everyone is talking about money, and everyone is talking about YOU giving THEM money! The lender is talking about points, interest rates, appraisal fees, escrow balances, monthly payments, and cash to close. The real estate agent is talking about inspection fees, down payments, and earnest money deposits.

What is the difference between Earnest Money and a Down Payment?

Earnest Money is kind of like a security deposit, it is meant to demonstrate that the buyer is serious and is in good faith planning to purchase the house. It's purpose is to make sure the buyer has some skin in the game. It puts pressure on the buye that r they can't just change their mind for no reason and walk away from the contract leaving the seller with a house that my have had repairs done at the buyer's request and a house that has not be on the market for the length of the home being under contract. At closing, the earnest money is put toward the buyer's down payment.  If the buyer changes their mind after the due diligence period, the buyer may not be able to get the earnest money refunded and the seller will be able to keep the earnest money as damages. Typically, if the seller terminates the transaction, the earnest money will be returned to the buyer. 

Down Payment is the amount of money a buyer puts towards the purchase of the house. 

  • If you buy a house for $200,000 and you put down 3%, you are putting $6,000 towards the purchase price and mortgaging $197,000.  A 20% down payment would state a buyer is putting $40,000 towards the purchase price and financing $160,000. 

Different types of loans require different down payments and rates may vary depending how much you put down. Here is an example from August Mortgage Company:


If a buyer puts down less than 20%, they are required to purchase mortgage insurance. There are two types of insurance: 

  • PMI--Private Mortgage Insurance--This is paid to an insurance company, normally on a monthly basis. 
  • FHA Insurance--this is paid to the Federal Government. A buyer with an FHA mortgage will pay an upfront fee plus monthly payments.

A qualified lender can explain the best type of loan for each buyer.

**Picture courtesy of Dreamstime.

Weekly Neighborhood Tour | Savannah Rapids Park

by Carey Miller

Neighborhood Tour--we are here today at Savannah Rapids Park, located in Columbia County. 3300 Evans to Locks Road | Martinez GA

Weekly Neighborhood Tour | Hammond's Ferry

by Carey Miller

Weekly Neighborhood Tour | Hammond's Ferry--We are previewing the Hammond's Ferry neighborhood in North Augusta, SC. This neighborhood is on the Savannah River and offers a unique experience with a mix of commercial properties, restaurants, homes, apartments, and townhomes. The new baseball stadium will be built in walking distance.

Weekly Neighborhood Tour | Augusta Canal

by Carey Miller

Weekly Neighborhood Tour | Augusta Canal --we are continuing our series on fun recreational things to do in the area. I am writing my bike today on the Augusta Canal towpath.

Have you ever wondered what your real estate agent does when she isn't showing you homes or listing your property.....stay tuned to see.....the "wishful" life of a real estate agent!

Listing Process--This is how it works!

by Carey Miller

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 36

Contact Information

Photo of Carey Miller Real Estate
Carey Miller
Blanchard and Calhoun
1202 Town Park Lane, Suite 201
Evans GA 30809
Mobile: 706-993-7321
Office: 706-868-1000