March 2008

Found 10 blog entries for March 2008.

We’ve included some of the newest condo developments in Mt. Pleasant. You can use the links to search all the condo MLS listings by neighborhood! We’ve listed the condos by starting price – from lowest to highest.   Park West has two popular subsections with new condos. Madison has some of the most affordable condos in Mt. Pleasant, with prices starting around $110K and going up to $160K. The Battery also has relatively affordable condos, ranging from about $160K to $250K.   Southampton Pointe is located close to Towne Center. This new condo community has good landscaping and really nice amenities. Condo prices range from $160K to just over $240K.   Seaside Farms is also a popular newer condo community in Mt. Pleasant. It has several…
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The Family Circle Cup is also coming up in the next few weeks. It’s one of the longest running professional tennis events for women, with a 35 year anniversary coming up.  The Family Circle Cup attracts even more people than the Bridge Run, with an estimated 90,000 spectators for this year. It will be held April 12-20 at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island. Find more Charleston events!
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The 31st annual Cooper River Bridge Run will be next weekend – April 5th. The Bridge Run is one of the biggest annual events in Charleston, and it’s one of the major races in the southeast. Almost 40,000 participants are expected to come out this year for the run. It’s a 10K run/walk starting in Mt. Pleasant and going over the Ravenel Bridge into downtown Charleston. There is also a separate kids’ run that will be held the day before the big race. Distances for kids will range from 25 yards up to a mile, depending on age. Too bad there’s not a kids’ run for the rest of us! Learn more about things to do in Charleston, SC!
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Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is an insurance policy the borrower pays for which protects the lender in case of foreclosure. You’ve probably heard about PMI before, since most loans over 80% usually require PMI. It has actually gotten harder to get PMI with recent FICO changes. Many of the insurance companies are not writing policies unless you have a 620 credit score.   So, you want to make sure that if your loan requires PMI, your lender orders the policy upfront and you have no trouble getting it. Most people don’t realize that the money they pay in monthly mortgage payments is collected by the lender and paid to another institution (most people think the lender keeps this money).    There are loans now available called “lender paid MI”…
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One of the most important parts of choosing a lender is usually the last thing people think of. Make sure that the lender you choose is actually going to have the money at the closing table. Believe it or not, this has been one of the biggest problems over the past year. Work with a bank that closes on the loans they approve or commit to. When I give approval to my clients, I’m committing with a few conditions (such as satisfactory appraisal). But, outside of these conditions, I’m committing my loan to you.   One way to make sure your loan will close is to make sure you’re working with an in house underwriter. For example, since I’m my own underwriter, when I approve a loan it has already been signed off on and approved. Some home loan officers have…
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The best advice I can give is to own your credit report. And, make sure it’s accurate before it gets pulled by a lender. There are several websites available to help you check your credit. For example, allows you to see your report. You don’t get to see your credit score, but you can make sure the report is accurate. If you see any errors, talk with your home loan officer to get them fixed before buying a house.    And, remember that any changes or corrections you make to your credit report need to take place well before buying a house.  You should not make any changes up to 60 days before buying because you can actually do more harm than good at this point. But, if you correct errors in advance, it can really help when it comes time to…
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What credit score do you need to buy a home?  The credit score you need largely depends on which home loan you choose. For example, with FHA loans, no credit score is even required.   There is a magic myth that rates change everyday. Actually the only thing that changes is what it costs to get that rate you want. This cost is called discount points, and sometimes it is referred to just as “points.” When a lender reviews applications and assigns a rate for a loan, he or she has to take into account what the buyer’s FICO score is.    As of December 17, 2007, Fannie Mae (which is the bulk of loans written) introduced new changes to how that’s done.   If your FICO score is less than 620, it’s going to cost 2 discount points (or 2% of your loan)…
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There has been a lot of talk recently that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates. This is not for mortgage rates, though – it’s for short term lending rates. In our business of home mortgages, it affects home equity lines of credit.  Typically when the Federal Reserve cuts the rate, mortgage rates actually go up. Not by much, but they do go up. The last time the Fed met, we saw that mortgage rates went down, which is not what usually happens. The only way to explain this is that there is nothing traditional about this economy.    So, why does this matter? When the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, people with short-term loans (credit cards, car notes, etc.) get better rates than previously. These people spend less for their short-term loans,…
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Since many of our buyers want to live on a golf course in Charleston, we’ve put together a list of options for buying golf real estate in the area. We’ve included the general areas and (where appropriate) the specific Charleston communities that have a golf course.   Town of Mt. Pleasant
  • Rivertowne Country Club
  • Dunes West
  • Charleston National
  Johns Island
  • Hope Plantation
  West Ashley
  • Shadowmoss Plantation
  • Wescott Plantation
  • Legend Oaks Plantation
  North Charleston
  • Coosaw Creek
  Goose Creek
  • Crowfield Plantation
  Rural West Ashley
  • Stono Ferry
Wild Dunes Resort   Kiawah Island   Seabrook…
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A lot of buyers hear that you can’t get 100% financing anymore. However, it is still possible to get 100% financing, which in short means no down payment. There are three options available to buyers for 100% financing:   1) FHA loans (one of the more popular types of loans) 2) My community (a specific Fannie Mae product) 3) Du Flex (a Traditional Fannie Mae loan)   I still do 100% financing loans on a very regular basis, and these are the main 3 options I can use. Not everyone can get approved for 100% financing. But, with it being such a good time to buy right now, these options are definitely worth considering!   Want to see if you qualify for 100% financing? Call Leah Odom with Carolina One Mortgage! You can call her cell phone at (843)…
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