Living on the County Line

This is a cautionary tale for anyone purchasing a home that is located on the county line. I am not saying you shouldn’t do it. In fact, there are many perks that can come your way. But there is also some frustration.

Many years ago my husband and I went looking for land to build our new home. Don wanted to be in Madison County for the lower tax rate. We both wanted to be close to Asheville. We found the perfect spot right on the county line. The property was in Madison but it was the Weaverville (Buncombe County) post office that delivered our mail. Therefore, people thought we lived in Buncombe County.

On the plus side, this gave me access to a larger library system. It also gave us slightly lower delivery rates from many local vendors. It also caused some issues.
Sometimes it’s minor stuff like discovering the lumber yard was charging me a higher tax rate because they assumed we were using the lumber in Buncombe County. I have to always remember to tell the car mechanic that we live in Madison when we have inspections done. Madison does not require emissions testing. However, you have to make sure your car registration is always recorded correctly as it affects your personal property tax rate. Speaking of taxes…….

Many years ago I refinanced my loan. I made sure the attorney knew which county the house resided in. He collected money for property taxes then sent it to Buncombe County who then returned the check (no account to credit). The check sat on the attorney’s desk for several months. I was alerted to the error when I received a notice of foreclosure by the county for unpaid taxes. Isn’t that a fun letter to receive in the mail? It got better. The same attorney recorded our deed and mortgage in Buncombe County then discovered his error a year later and recorded in Madison County. However, the lender didn’t know about the correction (neither did I) so when that lender sold the note, then that lender sold the note, then that lender sold the note… all transfers were recorded in Buncombe County. This created a clear chain of title in the wrong county and NO chain of title in the correct county. This is a BIG problem that will hold up the sale of your property if not corrected. I did get this issue cleared up but not without a lot of aggravation over the course of several months. As my husband kept pointing out – thank goodness I am a real estate agent and understand what happened and how to fix it.

I still love my home and think it’s in the perfect location. We do plan to eventually sell and when we do, you better believe I will have a long talk with the closing attorney!
One item that doesn’t affect me but has affected a community near me is schools. The Seven Glenn’s Community has the county line running right through it. If you live in Buncombe County, your kids go to North Buncombe Schools. If you live in Madison County, your kids go to those schools. If the school district is important, make sure you make some calls and find out where your kids will go. For my own home (I actually asked!) kids would go to Madison County Schools. The Buncombe County bus actually turns around in my driveway but I would have to pay tuition if I wanted my (hypothetical) child in that school. Crazy.

Should you buy a home on the County Line? Sure! Just pay attention and you will be fine!

NC-Madison-County-North-Carolina-1911-Map-Rand-McNally

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