May 2007

Found 16 blog entries for May 2007.

Here is your chance to learn from other home buyers’ mistakes!  We’ve listed the five most common mistakes that a home buyer can make:


1)  Failing to plan for the future – Even if you think you will live in your new house for the rest of your life, you should still plan your exit strategy.  If, for some reason, you needed to sell your home, would you be able to?  And, if you could sell the home, would you make any profit from it?  Be sure to talk with your real estate agent about buying a home with resale value so that you can plan for any problems that may come up in the future.  He or she should be able to tell you what to look for (and you can read our blog “Finding a Home With Good Resale Value”).


2)  Not checking the Covenants and

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People often ask us whether it is better to use the agent working at the model home.  While these agents are very familiar with the neighborhood and option packages, they work for the builder and have his/her best interests in mind.  They are hired to know the inventory and to represent the builder during all of the transactions.


You can still use these agents’ knowledge but have your own agent with you during the buying process.  And builders (and their agents) are always happy to work with the buyer’s agent.  We recommend having an agent to represent you and only you rather than rely on the builder’s representative.  Since the seller (in this case, the builder) pays commission to the buyer’s agent, you don’t have to pay to have an agent represent

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Many people hear about buying homes in the pre-construction phase of development and having the home value skyrocket in the first few years.  The stories usually involve someone “getting in” during the early phases of development when the builders offer good incentives and competitive pricing.  These homes can be great investments, but deals like these are harder to find now than they were even five years ago.  So, talk to your real estate agent about pre-construction homes (and investing in the Charleston area in general) if this is something you are interested in.


A lot of our clients have opted to buy homes pre-construction in Charleston because they need time to sell their current home.  Building a new home in Charleston usually takes anywhere

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The Morris Island Lighthouse off Folly Beach is one of two lighthouses in Charleston, SC.  Since it is located only about 300 yards off the north end of Folly Beach, the lighthouse has become somewhat of a symbol for Folly Beach and even James Island.  The Morris Island Lighthouse has received a lot of attention recently because the island it sits on has shifted dramatically. 


When the lighthouse was built in 1876, fifteen buildings surrounded it on Morris Island for the keeper and his family.  And, most people don’t know that it was painted with black and white stripes after the Bodie Lighthouse in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  Problems began in 1889 when jetties were built to improve the channel leading into the Charleston Harbor and downtown

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If the sellers are not pleased with your offer, they may turn it down outright or give a counteroffer.  So, let’s say that the sellers agree with all of the terms in your offer except for the price.  The sellers may send your offer back with your price marked out and suggest a higher price. 


Or, I will give a different scenario.  Let’s instead say that the sellers are pleased to get your offer, but you asked for them to do too much – like asking for a long list of repairs to be made, making a lower offer on the price, and requesting that you sell the house you are living in now before buying the sellers’ house.  If the sellers don’t outright reject your offer, they may choose to only allow one of these requests in a counteroffer. 


If the

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So you’ve found the home you want to buy.  Now what?  You need to make an offer to buy the seller’s house.  Your real estate agent will have the forms you need, and he or she will talk with you to decide what terms you want to make.  Your agent will then write the offer for you.


There is more to an offer than simply stating a price you are willing to pay.  You will also tell how much money you are going to put down for the earnest money deposit.  This deposit is usually about one percent of the purchase price of the home.  The earnest money goes into an interest bearing account until your closing for safe keeping.  The company typically gives the interest earned to various charities.  An earnest money deposit shows that you are a serious buyer, and

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We are writing to let you know about a big event coming up in the Charleston area.  The Spoleto Festival USA will take place from May 25 to June 10.  This seventeen-day arts festival will feature a broad range of performances, including theater, classical ballet, jazz, chamber music, and modern dance.  There will also be local artists displaying their work in Marion Square.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Gian Carlo Menotti, began the Spoleto Festival in Italy in 1958 to showcase new American artists in Europe.  As Spoleto’s popularity grew, the organizers started an American version of the festival in 1977.  Of all the American cities, they chose Charleston to be the  permanent host for the festival because of the city’s small size, cultured

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When we try to determine property value for your home, we compare your home with old MLS listings and active listings on the Charleston MLS.  No two properties are completely alike, but some properties are similar enough to compare prices.  So, we look at comparable homes that have recently sold in your area (sold listings), homes that were for sale on the market but never successfully sold (expired listings), and homes that are currently for sale (active listings).  Aside from these comparisons, we also take other factors into consideration when determining a home’s value.


1.  One of the most important factors that affect value is location.  Homes close to the beach or to downtown Charleston sell at a higher price.  You can install all of the

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Many people choose Charleston as their getaway destination.  Some people want a second home in Charleston so that they can have a home near the beach, so that they can have a home near family living in Charleston, so that they can have a private place to stay for business trips, so that they can have an investment that will provide plenty of enjoyment, or so that they can use the home first for vacations and then for retirement in the coming years. 


If you’re looking into buying a second home, try to get a good location.  This is especially important if you plan to use it as a vacation home.  If you want a home near the beach, look in areas that are actually close to the beach, like Folly Beach, James Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Mt.

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Home inspections can give buyers a better understanding of the condition of the property they plan to buy.  In this article I will discuss four types of home inspections and what they cover.


During a standard home inspection a licensed inspector should examine the exterior of the house for damage and rot, the roof for leaks or holes, the overall structure of the house, the garage, the attic, the basement for possible water damage, the crawl space under the house (if the house is built on a crawl space), the foundation of the house for cracks and other damage, plumbing, electrical work, heating and air conditioning, and the fireplace. 


Some home inspectors also look to see if the landscaping beds around the house divert water away from the

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