More than one of every three homeowners in South Carolina has no mortgage or home loan.
No negative equity or underwater mortgage for them. No mortgage payments at all.
A Post and Courier analysis of census data shows that mortgage-free homeowners are most common in rural counties, where property values are low and mobile homes are common. (South Carolina has the highest percentage of mobile homes in the nation.)
Allendale County, which has an unemployment rate just shy of 20 percent, has the state's highest percentage of loan-free homeowners, at 57 percent.
Allendale is among nine rural counties where at least half the homeowners have no loans.
In fast-growing counties near the state's major cities -- including Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties -- housing prices are higher and mortgage debt is far more common.
Dorchester County homeowners are tied with those in Richland and York counties for the dubious honor of being most likely to have a loan on their residence. But even in those three counties, 23 percent of homeowners are mortgage-free.
In Berkeley and Charleston counties, 27 and 28 percent, respectively, have no home loans. Statewide, the average is 34 percent.
For those without a home-related loan, there are still property taxes, stormwater fees, homeowner's and flood insurance, and in some cases, the land the home sits on may be rented.
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