Just Listed in Ansonborough Historic Charleston

Park and walk to all the best of living in Downtown Charleston’s Historic Ansonborough neighborhood.

Beautifully renovated and expertly maintained Charleston Single style home with kitchen house incorporated to create a fabulous space. The first floor has a Formal Living Room, Formal Dining Room, Gourmet Eat-In Kitchen, Family Room, Office Space, Laundry and Full Bath. Second floor has 3 Bedrooms, Drawing Room and 2 Full Baths. 

 

Call Justin to schedule a showing at: 843.224.4422

View Full Listing Here

Additional features:

5 fireplaces, white marble baths, wide plank heart of pine floors and updates and renovations from top to bottom. Excellent off-street parking for 2-3 cars; private outdoor living space featuring fountain with fish, garden shed and lush low maintenance tropical plants.

When Is The Right Time To Buy A House?

WhenIsTheRightTimeToBuyAHouse?

When is the right time to buy a house?

Buying a house is often a matter of timing. Your local residential housing market responds to several factors both local and national. When you’re looking for a home you may be  wondering if the time is right, and often asking when is the right time to buy a house? Aside from personal factors such as having a down payment and overall financial health, you also have to look at the local market’s current status before buying. Other questions you could be wondering include Should I Sell My House First, Or Buy a New Home First? or even What Is The Relationship Between Mortgage Rates And Housing Prices? Now, buying at the wrong time can decrease your selection of home choices to choose from and further increase the price you’ll have to pay. Here are the keys that you should know of when wondering what time to buy a house.

 

Seasonal Timing

Home sales fluctuate throughout the year. In general, more homes are sold in the summer than in the winter. The time of year you decide to buy a home affects several factors including the number of homes on the market and ease of moving. For families with school aged children, moving in the summer is far easier when school is not in session. However, despite this being conventional wisdom every market is still different and a more competitive summer market may cause you to miss on a better deal in the winter. Also, local demographics can affect trends as well; i.e. in warmer areas like Charleston, homes will tend to still sell well in the winter.

The key factor to keep top of mind is that there is no perfect time to buy and you should always seek the advice of a professional and knowledgeable realtor as they are aware of not only your needs but of the local market and various factors that affect it.      

 

Personal Factors

The right time to buy depends a lot on where you are in your life. There are several personal and professional factors that should be considered before you make a decision concerning home ownership. These can include the following…

  • Fees And Home Upkeep: There’s more to a home than just the monthly mortgage. Homes have many related expenses including upkeep, home repair, utility costs, and related property taxes. A realtor can assist you in calculating these costs which gives you a more exact picture of what you can realistically afford.
  • Are You Planning To Stay In The Area For a Long Time? : One of the best times to buy a house is when you’re in an area you plan to live in for the foreseeable future. That being said, this doesn’t mean living there forever or requires you to stay there and never move again. However, if future plans (be they personal or professional) involve selling your home, buying a smaller home may be advisable. In many markets, smaller homes have the greatest appreciation in value and tend to sell faster.     
  • Personal Finances: Lastly, always carefully review your finances before purchasing a home. A professional realtor can give you a better idea of what you can afford, home ownership expenses for an area and property, and how large of a down payment you should realistically have.

 

Expert Assistance

No matter what time you choose to buy a home, always hire a professional realtor. The correct time to buy a home depends on not only your personal finances and life situation but also the overall market trends. A knowledgeable realtor will know the status of your local market including the number of homes for sale, the current market value of these homes, popular locations, areas of high growth, and current finance trends like mortgage rates. By working with an expert you can buy a home when it is the right time for you.    

 

Come Learn What Justin Thomas Real Estate agents bring to the table today and view homes available in Charleston! 

How Can I Ready My Finances To Buy A Home in 2018?

2018 is the year you could easily own a new home in Charleston, SC. Whether you are a local who simply wants to buy real estate property or you’re possibly relocating to South Carolina for a new job opportunity, there has never been a greater time to move to a city as lovely as Charleston. It also does not matter whether you are buying a retirement home, or possibly just another house. This is because Congress has been discussing a tax plan that could make it much easier for you to buy a home.

 

In addition to that, there are various deductions that are set for elimination in the coming year. Therefore, what you need to know is how to organize your finances. Here is what you should do and must know.

 

  1. Come up with a clear goal

You absolutely can not create any type of action plan if you have yet to decide where you need to go. To start with, determine the amount of money that will be needed to buy a new home. You then should proceed to inquire about the percentage that you have to pay as a down payment so that you can save for it. Most of the time, you will be asked to pay at least 20% of the asking price, and you have to start saving for it right away. Finding this information will help you to understand how to look for the best mortgages, as well as understanding where you first need to start.

 

  1. Get a separate savings account

If you want to buy a house as early as you can in 2018, don’t mix your savings with other finances. It is important to designate a different account for this purpose. This way, you will monitor your savings, and evaluate the progress that you have made. At any time, you always will be aware of how much you have saved, and how much more is needed.

Now, where a lot of people can make mistakes while trying to save the money for  a big goal like saving up  for a down payment, is that you might not see that savings fund grow as fast as you would like. It can be disheartening to possibly not see it at the numbers you want, and decide to start pulling that money out of it for other needs. Absolutely do not do this, and know ahead of time that you very well may be tempted to do so. Errors like this can eradicate any financial momentum you had quickly. Know this ahead of time and be sure to stay focused (and smart) with this goal.

 

  1. Choose an automatic savings plan

After finding out how much money is needed for the new house, and knowing where to save it, the next step should be to determine how it will get there. Everyone knows that there are many things that require your money (fortunately and unfortunately). If it is going to go through your hands before it gets to the savings accounts, you may be tempted to use it for other urgent needs (again, further stressing the importance of awareness and thinking ahead). This happens all the time. To avoid this, ask your bank to create a standing order so that money is deducted from the main account, and deposited to the savings account automatically. There are other ways to follow through on this digitally as well, depending on your bank and any possibly financial platforms or software that you use.

 

  1. Revisit your budget

Be sure to go back to your budget and create room for these new developments. You definitely have been spending your earnings on various things without considering the need to buy a house. Now that this has become a major priority, it’s a good idea  to figure out how it will fit in there accordingly. Take a look at some of the things that have been taking up the bulk of your earnings, and come up with a way to slash them or be more resourceful with your finances.

 

  1. Avoid massive transfers for the time being

When you apply for a mortgage (getting pre-approved is vital), lenders will scrutinize your bank accounts to see your recent spending history. This is absolutely not the time to make huge transfers because they will be seeking to know where these funds came from. To be sure of getting the right lender, maintain consistency with your savings pattern, and ensure that there is no suspicious activity in any of your bank accounts.

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that preparing your finances is a major step when it comes to owning a home in Charleston. You also should know how to choose the right bank to save with, and where to find the best mortgages. Thinking ahead and awareness are so vital in accomplishing any goal you set out on.

 

If You Are Considering Buying in 2018, Let’s Talk About What’s Available In Charleston Today.

When Is The Best Time To Sell My House?

 

WhenIsTheBestTimeToSellMyHouse

When Is The Best Time To Sell My House?

A lot of myths surround the idea of when is the best time to sell your house. There honestly is no specific answer when one is  pondering when is the best time to sell my house. A number of factors have to be put under consideration in order to make a right decision. Each neighborhood and every home is different. It is best to take your time and choose your real estate agent carefully. Remember… that while it may be you that puts your house on the market, it is the actual real estate agent who sells it. Choosing the right one is a crucial decision that you will have to make. Other questions you could be wondering are How Much Should I Sell My Home For?  Another could be What are the Common Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

 

Nonetheless, it will be the agent that is the true difference between whether you sell your house at a good price or whether they fetch the bare minimum for you due to any number of reasons (with them ultimately not being a great realtor as the main reason at the end of the day). You can either choose to ask friends and family about their trusted agents or you can make a comparison of the local real estate agents based on factors such as how quickly they sell and how close they come to meeting the asking price, without even mentioning just the personal vibe and attention you may attain from them while just interacting to find out if they’re even a good fit in the first place.

 

One of the first questions to consider and be aware of revolves around the best season for you to be selling your home.

 

Spring

Spring is usually regarded as the most appropriate time you can think of selling your home. During this season, most people are still around and don’t tend to venture away on vacations too long, without mentioning the scores of visitors that hit Charleston before the weather and humid summer tend to tip on the hectic side. Therefore there tends to be more potential buyers during spring. Fewer people have moved away for summer or are busy with the Christmas and holiday celebrations (or spending time out of the office). Another bonus point as to why you should sell your home in spring is because your home tends to look fantastic. The flower garden is blooming, and the sun is out for longer hours ensuring your house looks beautiful. The weather is not too hot nor does the wind  contain the chill that will typically be found in winter.

Summer 

Summer is typically regarded as the worst time to sell your home. A lot of people tend go away to enjoy their summer in other locales, even if many may visit the Charleston area for a number of reasons. Your potential buyers are therefore typically reduced in number. If you try selling to families, keep in mind that the families may either be out of town or most of their time shall be taken up caring for their children during the school holidays; so they are more preoccupied with other items and not the most invested in looking for a home.

Autumn

Autumn is a good time to sell. During this time, there aren’t many major holidays nor move-aways. Your potential buyers therefore tend to be greater  in number at this time of year as well. Your house also tends to look good during autumn, just like spring. The foliage of fall leaves falling and the crisp fall air can tend to leave a greater and more romantic impact on your buyers than during the hot summer heat or colder winter chill. Note though, if you find a buyer during this time, you need to move with speed to sell your home faster because the markets tend to slow down the first week of November. A great realtor already knows this, will make you aware of it and will be prepared to therefore accelerate your home’s sale accordingly (if necessary).

Winter

Winter does have times when it is good to sell. The worst time is typically the period just before Christmas. The market is very low during this time, and nobody is bothered about moving into a different house at this time. Everyone is also much more worried about getting out of the office and seeing family than buying a home. They’re already looking at planning to get a house next year and deciding when to pull the trigger, but they’re not typically looking at buying during this time of year (aka, they’re in the research phase). It’s therefore advisable that if you don’t put your house up for sale before December, forget about it until January when people are planning for the year ahead of them. Again, a knowledgeable real estate agent will already know this.

 

Seasonal variations are a universal consideration for the best time you may put up your home for sale, but regional differences play a part as well. It’s best to take a close look at the trends in your local area before putting your house up for sale. If you are considering doing so, be sure to list it at the right time when you are going to get maximum attention from potential buyers. Remember that it is not a good idea for your house to stay in the market for a long period of time. Potential buyers will start wondering what is wrong with your house. The right real estate agent will be able to help you decide when the best time to sell your house is

If the right time has come for you to sell your home, don’t hold back. Be realistic and have at least some insight into the market trends. Contacting the right real estate agent is the difference between your house selling immediately for the price that you want, versus wasting time and stress waiting for the right buyer.

 

Find out how much your worth may be worth today…

What to Look for When Buying an Investment Property in Charleston, SC

What to Look for When Buying an Investment Property in Charleston, SC

 

The Charleston, South Carolina area has seen notable population growth in recent years as people relocate from around the state and the country. If you are looking to relocate or simply buy an investment property, the greater Charleston area offers several advantages as population growth drives development, business, and improves overall market value for properties. However, no matter what your reasons, careful research has to be done before buying a property. Here are eight factors to keep in mind before buying residential property.

Eight Things To Consider Before Buying Residential Property

  1. Local Neighborhood: where a property is located affects who your neighbors will be if you choose to live there or who your tenants will be if renting. For example, property near the College of Charleston will have a large renter pool due to the student population. A property in the historic district can be very rentable as a getaway house for those who love Charleston. This is how many future buyers test out living here. 
  2. Property Taxes: property taxes can vary greatly. In Charleston County the primary factors are the property value and if it is a primary residence or not. It is easy to calculate the property taxes of a target property.  Calculate estimated property taxes for a Charleston property.
  3. Crime Statistics: review local crime statistics of an area before buying. The local library or the police should be consulted to assure you are receiving accurate information. Crime does affect property value and your peace of mind as a resident. Also, check to see what crimes occurred locally to get a good overview of overall safety.
  4. The Local Job Market: an improving job market drives renters to an area. This is a benefit to you both as a property owner looking for a tenant or if you are relocating and looking for a new job. Aside from statics look for new business openings or companies opening branches in the area.
  5. The Surrounding Area: a residence may be perfectly nice but what is it next to? Consider the surrounding area and look for things such as local malls, restaurants, groceries, mass transit, parks, schools, interstate access, and so on. Easy access to amenities such as this greatly improve both a property’s value and quality of life as a resident.
  6. Future Development: look around for other construction projects. If businesses are opening stores and new residential buildings are being constructed that’s a good sign a location is experiencing positive growth. However, beware of crowding and other residential areas affecting rental prices and property values.
  7. Rental Rates: if renting always check local rates. This goes both ways as a renter you want to assure you are getting the best deal and as a property owner you want to make sure you are both competitive in your marketplace as well profitable.
  8. Checking The Property Itself: lastly, before buying anything, hire a home inspector to review it for any repair needed currently or that may occur in the future.

Conclusion

As the above shows before buying a rental property for either investment or residence, there are key factors to keep in mind. A highly livable area like Charleston is always attractive but a realtor that knows the nuances of each neighborhood can help find a properties that maximizes your investment.

Contact me for a list of real estate investment opportunities in the Charleston area.

How Much Should I Sell My Home For?

How Much Should I Sell My Home For_

 

When selling your home, choosing the right price point is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your asking price determines your profit or loss, and how fast your home sells.

Deciding what price point to start with can be confusing. These tips will help you figure out how to get the maximum price for your real estate offering.

Get an Appraisal

Contact a local real estate appraisal service. The appraiser will visit your property and conduct a thorough inspection. Based on their observations, they will estimate an overall value. Property value is based on factors like location, condition of structures and landscape, features and improvements, and size and age of the lot.

If the appraisal estimate is a little lower than you like, you may consider renovations or redecorating to raise home value.

Research Local Home Values

Next, do some research on real estate in your area. Explore free online home valuation tools to get a better guess of the value range of your home. You can also see information on the property, like the year the home was built and the number of rooms.

Check the home values in your neighborhood. Pay special attention to any homes that are currently for sale or recently sold. Compare your home with those that have similar features. Some important home features to consider during this comparison are:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Age of home
  • Size of property
  • Square footage of home
  • Location (proximity to schools, shops, commercial areas, etc)

Look at homes in similar neighborhoods around your city or metropolitan area as well as your immediate neighborhood. List 10-15 that are most like your property. Make note of similarities, differences, and any other information that might affect home value.

Calculate a Range

Compare your research data to your appraisal estimate. From that information, decide what is the absolute least you would accept for your home. This will be the low end of your price range.

The high end of your price range should be as close to your estimate as possible. But your estimate may not be a realistic asking price.  

Here’s an example. Your home is valued at $650,000. During your research, you notice that similar homes that have recently sold are priced around $575,000. Unless your property has an incredibly special feature or asset that others do not, your home is unlikely to sell for the full value. In that case, the high end of your price range should be adjusted for current market conditions.

By researching recent home sales in your area, you will see what others have gotten for properties like yours. Compare those numbers to your appraisal estimate. Then decide how much you think you can reasonably get for your property.

Having a price range rather than a solid asking price eases negotiations.

Get Professional Help

A licensed, local real estate agent can simplify the process of pricing your home to sell. Agents can access timely and accurate information on property conditions and values that non-agents cannot easily access. They analyze and interpret home value trends and market conditions every day, which allows them to more accurately estimate effective asking prices.

Whether you seek professional guidance or decide to do it yourself, take your pricing decisions seriously. The small investments of time and money spent can pay off big at closing.

Discover the potential value of your home, get your free home valuation here.

What Is The Relationship Between Mortgage Rates And Housing Prices?

JT - Mortgage prices

 

What is the relationship between mortgage rates and housing prices?

The housing market fluctuates constantly. When buying or selling residential property, a good understanding of how mortgage rates affect housing prices can vastly alter your decisions. Having a realtor that understands this relationship can be the difference between a better and more gainful realty experience (that keeps money in your pocket), or a more painful, stressed and frantic approach that costs you money.

 

How are interest rates on mortgages determined?

When a person applies for a mortgage loan, they may visit a bank, credit union, or other qualified lending institution. This institution is the loan’s originator. Mortgage loan originators make money from fees and interest payments.

 

Originators do not portfolio, or hold on to, individual loans. Instead, they group, or aggregate, them together into bonds. This process is called securitization. Those bonds are then sold by the aggregator to investors such as pension and hedge funds, other banks, insurance companies, and governments.

 

Investors buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities to make money. By purchasing these products, they are lending money to the aggregator so they can use it to make more loans. Investors will then receive a portion of the interest payments collected by lending institutions.

 

The trail followed by a typical property loan is called the mortgage production line. It starts with the borrower and stops with the dividends paid to investors.

 

When making loans, banks partially base their interest rates on how much they can sell the loan for in the securitization process. Higher investor involvement means banks will make more money with bonds and securities. This means they can charge you less in interest payments and still make a decent profit. Less investors mean higher interest rates are necessary to secure a profit. Thus, the interest rate you pay on your mortgage loan is based on how much investors are willing to pay for mortgage-backed securities and bonds.

 

Now….how does the mortgage production line affect interest rate decisions?

When financing a home purchase, you may need to decide between a fixed or adjustable interest rate. As implied by the names, a fixed interest rate means you will pay the same amount of interest on every payment for the life of the loan. An adjustable rate means the amount of interest you make with each payment will change periodically. How often the rate changes is determined by your mortgage terms.

 

Current rates on mortgages are determined by market conditions like how much money is being invested into various markets, inflation, and the yield on certain U.S. Treasury bonds. Following and analyzing how these conditions trend over time provides valuable insight into what mortgage rates may do in the future.

 

Choosing a fixed rate mortgage when interest rates are high means you will likely pay much more in interest over the life of your loan than needed. Likewise, choosing an adjustable loan when interest rates are low could mean skyrocketing monthly payments when market conditions change. Having the right realtor that understands interest rate trends (those current, and the ones forecasted for the future) can help you decide the best decision that is right for you.

 

How can you get the information you need to make the right decision?

The housing market is more than just buyers and sellers. Through the mortgage production line, your home loan becomes an international affair. Your home buying process is affected by foreign events, social conditions, and other complex factors.

 

Professional realtors keep themselves updated and educated on factors that affect their local housing markets. They have access to relevant information, the ability to analyze it, and the experience to understand how to use it in the most effective way. Using a realtor when buying or selling your property is an investment that can save you money for years to come.

 

Find Out How Justin Thomas Real Estate Agents Can Help Make The Best Decision For You Today

Should I Sell My House First, Or Buy a New Home First?

JT - Sell or Buy 1st

 Should I sell my house first or buy a new home first?

 There is a lot of paperwork and certain technicalities that come with selling or buying a property, and they should never be overlooked because they can consume a lot of time. It’s advisable to have the right realtor that knows the many advantages and disadvantages of both options, before choosing  the right way forward. Consulting with a professional real estate agent will help you in understanding the current situation in the real estate market of  your area and the right variables that will eventually determine the best course of action for you.

 

 Selling a home first    

 Selling your home first can be a positive in terms of knowing what your current budget will be before you start shopping for a new property. In fact, if you buy a new home without selling your current home first, you may end paying for two mortgages and incurring the expenses of owning two homes  at once-even if it’s just for a short period.

 

 Another benefit of selling your current home first is that you won’t be under any pressure to close the sale within a certain deadline. Being rushed in  any process typically leads to less positive results. Focusing on selling your current home first, assures you of having enough time to stage it properly in  the real estate market and wait for the right price. On the contrary, if you buy a new home before you sell your current one, you might be pressured to  lose money on settlement day by settling for any offer that comes your way (instead of waiting out the process properly).

 

 The downside of selling your home first is that you’ll have to find a temporary place for accommodation, in case you’re unable to buy a new home  immediately. This can be very painstaking, stressful and costly because you’ll have to make a full move more than once. The unnecessary expenses on  hotel bills, moving and paying for storage space can go up quickly and be very expensive in the long run. However, the right real estate agent may be able to renegotiate an extended settlement to allow you to stay for a certain period until you buy a new home.

 

 Another potential downside is that prices in the real estate market may go up quickly between the time you sell and the time when you intend to buy a  new home. Once again, it’s pivotal to know know the right agent who understands current conditions.

 

 Buying a home first   

 This is a safe option for people who don’t have financial constraints because it ensures that they will have a place to stay immediately after the sale  has been finalized. Furthermore, if you can afford to buy a house first before you sell your current home, you won’t have to deal with storage space or  accommodation costs. It can also allow you to take time to stage the house and wait for the best market prices before you sell.

 

 The major drawback of buying a new home first is that you need to be financially stable enough to buy a new home before you sell your current one. You will  also have to pay higher taxes and mortgages because you’ll likely be owning two properties at the same time. Furthermore, you’ll be required to put down some deposit money for the new home that might be hard to raise if you have not sold your current home.

 

 Another disadvantage is that you can’t be sure that you will recover the full cost of buying a new home from the sale of your old house. A  possible  option is to rent out your old home so as to recover some of the costs you may experience during this period. You can also opt to take up a bridging  loan for a limited short-term like 12 months to help you in neutralizing your financial status.

 

 While ultimately the decision to sell or buy first is up to you, being equipped with the right knowledge and information from an informed agent can  absolutely be the difference between a more calm, less stress induced experience that helps you keep money in your pocket at signing; versus a  frantic, and stressed out approach that ends up costing you money (and regret) at signing.


 Find out the knowledge that Justin Thomas Real Estate Agents bring to the table today