Charleston Real Estate Market Blog

how do interest rates affect home buying

As mortgage interest rates go up, home buyers start shopping around with lenders hoping to get a better rate. As they look online, they might gravitate towards the rate that’s half a point lower than all the others. If you come across a rate from a bank you’ve never heard of that seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Right now, we’re seeing a lot of bait and switch tactics online and a lot of non-refundable application fees. Some banks make their money not by the loans themselves but by the fees they charge. They offer a 4% rate and make you fill out the application in order to collect hundreds of dollars in application fees. Then, they tell you that you don’t qualify for that 4% rate, but you can still get the number that’s more on par with

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why is my house not selling

In our hot sellers’ market, homeowners assume that a listing will sell quickly regardless of the condition or price or location. This overconfidence can turn into disappointment when a month or two passes with no offers to purchase. Although we’re seeing one of the strongest selling markets in the history of our MLS, it’s important for sellers and their agents to recognize when it’s time to make changes before a listing becomes so stagnant and stigmatized that buyers question what’s wrong with the property. Buyers know that the best listings sell the fastest in a hot market, so you don’t want to wait too late to act. These are the most common reasons that homes don’t sell.

Bad Listing Photos

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to talk about why

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things to do before putting your house on the market to sell

Many of the sellers we work with have a very tight budget for selling their home. They’re usually not willing to put much money into getting their home ready to list, especially before the listing even hits the market. When sellers ask, “What do I need to do to my home before we list it?” these are the least expensive (and most important) tasks they need to accomplish!

1: Cleaning: The Number One Free Commodity that Every Seller Should Use

If you’re looking for the best return on your investment, you can either clean your home (for free) or hire a good professional cleaner (for about $150) to do it for you. In the past year, we’ve seen a huge increase in sellers happy to pay a professional to clean because they know the maid will do a more

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do you need a buyers agent for new construction

Many buyers assume they should use the builder's agent when they purchase a new construction home. They often believe they will save money or make the process easier by working directly with the agent on site. However, it's important for buyers to understand that using the builder's representative puts them in a situation where there are competing loyalties and interests. Being represented by the builder's agent during your purchase makes as much sense as a court trial where both parties use the same attorney to represent them.

Does it Save Money to Use the Builder's Agent?

It's free to have your own buyer's agent represent you during a new construction purchase. Especially buyers coming from out of state think they have to pay their buyer's

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selling and buying a house with leased solar

Many sellers don’t realize when they install solar panels the repercussions of trying to sell a home with existing solar. If owners pay for them outright, it’s usually not a problem. In these cases, the owners probably won’t be able to recoup all of the expenses when they go to sell the home because most buyers would rather put that money into kitchen or bathroom upgrades. From a real estate stand point, solar panels should be viewed not as an investment but as a way to save money on utility bills and lighten your carbon foot print.

The problem with solar panels here in our Charleston SC real estate market comes from the fact that most owners finance the panels instead of paying for them outright. Most buyers are not going to want to continue

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Here you'll see year to date MLS statistics for the tri-county Charleston area:

  • During the month of October, there were 1,258 homes that closed which brings the year to date sales number to 14,872. This is a 10 year record for the MLS. Analysts had predicted 2017 would be the #2 best year in the history of the MLS, but current stats show that it might end up being #1!
  • Closed homes are up 14% over 2015.
  • Buyers are seeing more listings to choose from compared to the last two years, which is great considering the inventory shortage that we’ve experienced. New listings have increased 6% over last year and 11% over 2015.
  • The median sales price is up 5% over last year to currently $253,995. The average sales price is up 5% to currently $343,961.
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long savannah project west ashley

We’ve recently been asked about the new Long Savannah project which is currently being developed in West Ashley, so we thought we’d share the latest news on its status. Long Savannah is expected to be the largest housing development in Charleston County, and Charleston City Council has already voted to approve the plan. There are about 3,300 acres making up the master plan which pieces together several parcels of land. A 1,628 acre County Park and a 203 acre City Park are included in this proposal. The Glenn McConnell Parkway extension will be a connection point for part of the Long Savannah Development, and the newly paved Proximity Drive off Bees Ferry Road will also be an access point.

Approximately 4,500 homes will be built in mixed-use

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minimum down payment for a home

We recently had a conversation with a first time home buyer who was living with her parents and working hard to save up a 20% down payment. She didn’t realize that she had already saved three times the amount she needed!

This miscalculation got us wondering…how many home buyers actually know the correct minimum down payment it takes to purchase a home? We thought we’d put together this blog to help other home buyers who are currently saving up their funds!

Primary Residence Purchases

  • VA* and USDA: 0%
  • First Time Home Buyer Conventional: 3%
  • FHA: 3.5%
  • Conventional: 5%
  • Jumbo: 5%

Investment Properties and Second Homes

  • Conventional Second Home: 10%
  • Conventional Investment: 15%
  • Jumbo Second Home: 20%
  • Jumbo
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boone hall plantation halloween events

Through October 31, Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant is hosting great Halloween entertainment for visitors of all ages:

  • Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch: This very kid friendly fall festival offers a corn maze, Halloween themed hayride (pictured), jump castle, two of South Carolina’s largest jump pillows, petting zoo, three story slide tower, tube swings, and sand pit. There are also great photo ops for the kids since pumpkins, tractors, and fall decorations fill this wide open space. Admission is $10 per person (kids age 2 and under are free with accompanying adult) and includes access to all of these attractions except the pony rides. Learn more about the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch!
  • Boone Hall Fright Nights: For teens and adults, you’ll find
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are flat fee sellers agents a good deal

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of flat fee listings in our local MLS. These listings are easy to spot because usually the photos are dark or sideways, the report is only partially filled out, or the comments section doesn’t really highlight the property well. I usually know it’s a flat fee listing before I even see that it’s labeled as Limited Service (that’s our MLS designation for what most sellers refer to as flat fee listing agents).

In strong sellers’ markets like our Charleston real estate market, we often see sellers trying to save money because they know how quickly homes are selling. We saw this trend back in the 2005 market where it seemed like listing agents only had to put a sign in a yard in order to sell a listing.

The point of this

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