June 2007

Found 16 blog entries for June 2007.

Some home buyers (especially first-time home buyers) think that a down payment is the only cost of buying a home.  However, they soon realize that their down payment is one of many costs that require cash or a check upfront.  So, how much should you expect to pay before closing on your new home? 


Depending on the type of mortgage you choose, you will probably make a down payment anywhere between zero and twenty percent of the purchase price of your home.  This range is very large, but the good news is that you get to choose what size down payment you’ll make in the very early stages of house hunting.  You can talk with your home loan officer to find out what mortgage type is best for you (and this decision will largely be based on how much money

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When potential buyers drive up to your house, the first thing they see is the front of your house.  And, buyers know that usually the exterior of the house is a good indicator of the inside of the house.  The old saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover does not apply to real estate!  So, the front of your home can make a very important first impression on potential buyers.  As a seller, you want to make the best first impression possible.  You want your home to have curb appeal and make buyers want to see the rest of the house.  We’ve included seven ways to improve your curb appeal: 


1)  Mow the lawn regularly while your home is on the market.  If you have patches in your yard where grass doesn’t grow, you can either sow some grass

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Buying a home for the first time can be a very overwhelming experience.  After all, we were once first-time home buyers, and we remember buying our first home.  Add our personal experiences to the experience we’ve had helping first-time buyers, and you’ve got quite a bit of useful information.  So, we’ve made a list of tips for those of you considering buying your first home.


1)  Weigh the pros and cons of renting versus buying a home.  Since there is a ton of information available on this point alone, we’ll only do a quick run through of things to consider.  Remember that when you rent, you typically only pay the bills, the rent, and maybe renters’ insurance.  When you buy a home you can expect to pay the bills, the “permanent rent” (A.K.A.

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Finding a neighborhood that is a good match for you can be very difficult.  So, we’ve come up with seven steps to find the right neighborhood for you.


1)  Look at a map of the Charleston area.  Start getting familiar with the area you plan to move to.  Note the size of the area, and try to find the main roads.  You can use an old-fashioned road map, or you can find an interactive map on the internet.  You can even look up the area on the internet to read more about it.  It is good to have a basic understanding of the area before you try to find a more specific section, like a neighborhood.   


2)  Talk with your real estate agent.  Be sure to tell him or her what is most important to you regarding the neighborhood you’re looking for.  Are

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Some sellers are very reluctant to accept multiple contingencies.  So, try to scale down your contingencies as best as you can.  Two contingencies are easy for home buyers to avoid.    


For example, get pre-approved for a home loan before writing a contract (and even before you start looking seriously).  If you know that in your time frame you’re going to need to write a contract in the next two or three weeks, go ahead and get pre-approved.  Many sellers’ agents make pre-approval a requirement for submitting a contract anyway.  They won’t even consider an offer until they know that the potential buyer afford it.  So, go ahead and knock out the contingency stating that you need to be able to get financing. 


Another way to cut down on your

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A person’s offer to buy a home is conditional on certain things.  Conditions are often worked into an offer to buy a home in order to protect the buyer.  In a real estate contract, we call these conditions "contingencies."  Your real estate agent should be able to help you foresee potential problems concerning your real estate purchase.  If something goes wrong during the purchasing process, you want to be able to cancel your contract without being penalized (usually the penalty is losing your earnest money deposit).  We’ve listed some of the most common contingencies used in contracts to buy real estate.


1)  Being able to obtain financing.  If you have not gotten pre-approved for a home loan, you want to put in your offer that you will only buy the

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The general Charleston area is made up of three counties:  Charleston County, Berkeley County, and Dorchester County.  These three counties vary in tax prices.  If you were to compare two houses that were identical in price – one in Charleston County and one in Dorchester County – you would pay considerably more in taxes for the Charleston County home.


As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay about $700 per $100,000 of the purchase price of a home in Charleston.  In the fair chance that the home you’re considering is not priced exactly by the hundred thousands, you can calculate it by saying $7 per $1,000 of the purchase price.  For homes in Charleston County, this number is slightly higher.  So, if you were trying to calculate property

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Loggerhead sea turtles come ashore Folly Beach, SC to lay their eggs between May and October.  Despite popular belief, the females only nest every two to three years, and during their nesting season they can lay anywhere from two to five separate batches of eggs.  Each of these batches, or nests, usually contains about 100 eggs which incubate for approximately 45 to 60 days.  And, scientists think that they lay their eggs on the same beach they were born, but this topic is still up for debate.  Scientists have found that only about 1 out of every 1000 hatchlings will survive until his or her time to reproduce many years later.


Many beaches in Charleston, SC and other coastal cities have sea turtle protection programs that help to improve this

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For many people, there comes a time when they decide that their home no longer meets their needs.  Whether you’re still living in your Charleston starter home or you’re in a second or third home, there are many reasons why people choose to sell their home and move to another – a better neighborhood, more space (or less space that’s nicer), better public schools, more bathrooms for the kids, etc.  If you’re considering moving up, we have some questions that may help you to make this very tough decision.


1)  Can you fix the problems by making repairs to the home you currently live in?  Depending on your reasons for moving, you may be able to save money by staying put.  If you need another bathroom, for example, you could get an estimate for a

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The James Island SC real estate market is as strong as it’s been in the past, especially since there is not an excessive supply of homes and a continuing demand of buyers like there is in Mount Pleasant.


The benefit with this real estate market now is that many sellers don’t know the market is stronger in James Island compared to the rest of Charleston.  In other words, a lot of the sellers don’t know that they can get as much money for their houses.  So, sellers are still willing to negotiate their asking price drastically because of their misinformation.  It seems like we only hear about a cooling real estate market.  However, in many areas like Charleston, SC the real estate market is beginning to warm up again.   


When it comes to starter

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