Every state has rules and regulations that affect the homebuying process. Here’s what you need to know about Mississippi:
Home seller and buyer laws
Mississippi law requires sellers of a residential property with one to four units to fill out a property condition disclosure statement. It requires sellers to disclose in writing known information that might affect both the value and useability of a home. This includes past problems with appliances; heating, plumbing and electrical systems; walls and foundation; the roof; pests, such as carpenter ants or termites; damage from fire, windstorms and tornadoes; code and zoning violations; and hazardous substances, such as asbestos or lead-based paint.
Mississippi is a non-judicial foreclosure state that does not require a mortgage lender to take a homeowner to court to foreclose. Instead, lenders are required to post a notice of sale for three consecutive weeks in circulating newspapers and also post notice at the local county courthouse. The sale of the home is allowed to go forward if the homeowner doesn’t pay the full amount due, plus any accrued costs, such as attorney fees.
Every state has divorce laws that can affect a couple’s ability to qualify for a mortgage and determine who gets the home after the divorce. Some states are community property states where all property acquired during the marriage must be split 50/50. Mississippi, however, is an equitable distribution state, where assets must be divided fairly but not necessarily straight down the middle. If a couple is unable to do this on their own, a court typically steps in.
Some states require homebuyers to hire an attorney to handle a residential real estate closing. In Mississippi, however, buyers are allowed to use a title company instead.
Like a handful of U.S. states, Mississippi doesn’t require payment of a real estate transfer tax when a home is sold. Meanwhile, it has one of the lowest property tax rates in the United States, which is good news for homeowners.
According to Tax-Rates.org, the median property tax rate in Mississippi is now 0.52%, or $508 based on a median home value of $98,000.
Property taxes can vary widely depending on where you live. In Mississippi, the average property tax bill in Madison County, north of Jackson, is currently $1,204, or 0.66% of the median home value. By contrast, the average property tax bill in Amite County, in the southwest corner of the state, is $281, or 0.39% of the median home value.
Like many states, Mississippi offers a property tax exemption for certain residents. Homeowners who are age 65 or older or have a disability may receive an exemption for property taxes on up to $7,500 of a home’s assessed value. To learn more, go to this property tax information site.
Conforming loan limits
The conforming loan limit for a single-family home throughout Mississippi is now $484,350, the same amount that applies to most of the U.S. (higher-priced areas have higher limits).
A conforming loan adheres to guidelines and rules that have been set for two government-sponsored entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; lenders use conforming loan limits to issue conventional mortgages for homebuyers that are both safer and more affordable. As a homeowner, you may be able to receive a nonconforming loan for a higher mortgage amount to pay for a more expensive home, but conforming loans typically offer better interest rates.