Should I look at Charleston New Homes or Existing Homes?

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 11:25am.

There are many ways to go about finding a home in the Charleston real estate market that suits your taste, budget, and time frame. New homes are gorgeous, short sales and foreclosures are inexpensive, and re-sales usually mean a quicker closing. You first need to ask yourself, “Where do my priorities lie in regards to purchasing my new home?” Do you need a home to move into right away? Do you need a home to fix up in order to save money initially? Or, do you really want a classic older home with a story to tell?

For instance, let’s say that your current home has sold, and you need to be out within 30 days. You need a home to move into right away, and you can’t fathom having to move into a rental and then your new home. In this case, timing is your biggest priority, and you may want to start with a re-sale or a new construction home that is almost complete and can close within 30 days. John Weiland Homes, Beazer Homes, David Weekley, and others build Mount Pleasant new homes that can often close in a short timeframe. Build time for Charleston new construction homes can range from approximately 4 to 9 months. Builders in today’s market will not normally take a contract contingent upon the buyers selling their current home. The reason is that homes can take longer to sell in this market, so the builder is more likely to sell the home to another buyer in the time it takes for your home to sell.

A newly constructed home comes with at least a 2-10 home warranty, which is required by law. This is usually a 2 year systems (plumbing, roof, HVAC, electrical and more) and a 10 year structural warranty (covering the foundation of the home). John Weiland Homes has a 5-20 home warranty, which is unmatched in the Charleston real estate market. What people love most about a newly constructed home is that they get to choose the flooring, cabinets, counters, colors, etc. A new home also has a cleanliness that cannot be replicated by simply cleaning or painting an older home top to bottom. Buyers also love the fact that the home will be turn-key and move-in ready. They do not have to worry about renovating their kitchen while living in the home, for example.

If you find yourself in a position where you need to move to Charleston quickly, take a look at Mount Pleasant new construction that is complete or almost complete. This suburb has the largest supply of new homes in tri-county Charleston, so it’s a good place to start your home search. Also, view all of the existing homes within your price range that are regular sales – not foreclosure or short sale homes because they are not guaranteed to close within 30-45 days. You do not want the stress of being homeless and having no place to put your valued possessions.

If you feel that you have more time than money, then looking at short sales and foreclosures would be a good option for you. A short sale is when the owner owes his/her bank more than the home is worth, and the owner is selling it and shorting the mortgage company the difference. Sometimes the mortgage company agrees to being shorted, and sometimes it does not. Ask your Charleston real estate agent for details on each short sale home you view to see the likelihood of your closing on the home. Short sales take longer on average than a foreclosure – usually about 90 days or longer. Foreclosure is where the mortgage company has repossessed the home due to the owners not paying their payments for an extended period of time. These types of sales usually take place within 60 days.

If time is on your side, you should look at all homes of interest so that you can consider all your options. Charleston’s new homes and resale homes can be just as affordable as short sales and foreclosures, so don’t head straight to short sales and foreclosures just to find a deal. Resale homes are a nice option for buyers looking to move quickly, but not necessarily for someone who needs to sell another home or who needs to wait several months to move. Usually, sellers only allow the closing to be 30-60 days out from the contract date at most. Existing homes in older neighborhoods have an appeal that cannot be replicated because you can’t plant 100 year old oak trees on a new construction lot. Lot sizes are typically larger in older neighborhoods, as well. Being that Charleston is a historic area, many buyers prefer older homes, and they don’t mind renovating or sprucing up. These folks normally find new construction neighborhoods to be too cookie cutter looking because all the homes are similar in size, shape, and the materials used to build. For people who value historic homes, Mount Pleasant’s Old Village and Downtown Charleston are great places to begin the house hunt.

Whether you need to move fast, take your time to build or find the perfect home, save money, or restore a classic home, Charleston has it all. By prioritizing your needs, you will be able to more quickly and easily find a home in the Charleston real estate market that is perfect for you and your family.

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