What Are The Top Things To Know Before Buying A Home?


There are a number of things to love about an area like Charleston, SC. From the warm locals, to the variety of delicious cuisine only steps away, to the beaches throughout the area; millions (and more) find themselves visiting ever year, as well as moving to the lowcountry. Anyone looking to move to the area may be wondering what are the top things to know before buying a home. Other questions you have may have asked yourself include Do You Really Need To Use A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home? or  When Is The Right Time To Buy A House?


Now, many people dream about living on their own property. Buying a home is probably one of the most significant purchases that you will ever make in your life. This means that your long-term life goals must be considered when making the decision. The following are some of the things that you need to know before purchasing a home in Charleston, SC.


Your Financial Status

Buying a home will significantly affect your finances. To safeguard your investment and financial future, you must ensure that what you intend to purchase is affordable. Keep in mind that as much as housing has become more affordable due to incentives such as low interest rates or tax incentives, lots of upfront costs are also involved. These include down payments and closing costs. If you cannot afford making a lump sum payment for the desired property, ask yourself whether you are mortgage-worthy. Reviewing your finances goes a long way in helping you purchase what you can afford in the long run.


Is the Neighborhood Favorable?

No one wants to live in an unfriendly neighborhood. If you are buying a second home or a retirement home in South Carolina, you should find a property that has easy access to recreational facilities, shopping centers, and other amenities. Even though you might not be able to afford your dream home or a house in a much-desired neighborhood, the price that you end up paying should properly reflect the market value of the home.


It is advisable to consult knowledgeable realtors who will help you pick a favorable neighborhood. In this regard, you should also be aware of fixer-upper houses. These are basically relatively affordable homes that are located in neighborhoods that you might not be able to afford in the long run due to high property taxes that residents must pay. Also be wary and be patient throughout the home buying process. Having a great realtor on your side can prevent headaches and stress, and while possibly costing money in the beginning; they easily can save you money in the long term.


Understand the Home Buying Process

Once you decide that you want to purchase a home, you should endeavor to learn about the home buying process. Being an intricate undertaking, there is a lot to learn. Nonetheless, a realtor can help guide you through the basics. The Department of Housing and Urban Development similarly offers real estate buyers articles and videos about the home buying process as well. You absolutely should not be emotionally attached to the buying process. Doing so can cause you to make irrational decisions or ones that are not really beneficial to you long term, etc.


Look Out For Potential Deal Breakers

Besides writing a checklist of  what you want, you must also include potential deal breakers. These include roof sections that need replacement, high-risk flood zones, issues with plumbing systems and sewer lines, and local zoning rules. You should similarly consider requesting a CLUE Report so that you establish whether insurance claims have been made on the property in the past. Besides this, request the seller to provide you a report pertaining to damages and repairs that might have been undertaken. When buying a house, you should look beyond attractive finishes for any indications of underlying problems. This will help you get a favorable deal, and ensure that you’re not just being pulled by what glitters (which really isn’t gold after all!)


The Purchase Agreement

When buying a house, you must sign a contract and a few dotted lines, which will show that ownership has been transferred to you. Most of the papers that you will end up signing may appear like typical home buying contracts that have no opening for negotiation. Nonetheless, this is not the case because contracts can be negotiated (and are done best by a knowledgeable realtor). Therefore, you are not required to sign standard agreements. You may ask the seller to give you additional time so that you can go through all the paperwork involved with the help of a lawyer. This will enable you to make a well-informed home buying decision.


There is tons to love about the Charleston area, bringing visitors who are falling in love with the luxurious Lowcountry constantly.


Find out how we can help you through this process and find a great home in Charleston today!

What Do I Need To Prepare In Order To Buy A Home?


Buying a home is a major investment a lot of people will make at some point their life. For this reason, it is a good idea to prepare for the process adequately. Before you even begin looking at houses to buy, there are a few things you should put in order. One of the first questions you may be asking yourself, is what do I need to prepare in order to buy a home? In this article, we highlight the main things every soon-to-be home buyer should have on hand and how to go about preparing them accordingly.


Credit Report

Your credit score will first determine whether you’ll be approved for financing, as well as how much you can access to buy a house. The average score to qualify for a mortgage is 580, but most lenders prefer their borrowers to be at 660 and above. A higher credit score can decrease both your down payment and monthly payments, as well as ensure higher levels of trust with the corresponding higher amounts of money involved in the transaction.


You should obtain your credit report from a credit agency at least several months before you start shopping for a home. This gives you the time to correct any errors and also improve your score. Paying off some of your credit cards and not applying for any new lines of credit during this period can help to improve or at least maintain your current credit score. Preparing proactively can save you time and money you might lose due to a lower score when you try to get the best financing options for yourself later. If you are buying a home with your partner, both your credit scores will be assessed by the lender accordingly. It is, therefore, advisable to work on your credit reports together before house hunting. This is something a knowledgeable realtor will be able to help you understand further, or advise you on a best practice going forward.



Figuring out how much you can afford narrows down your property search. A mortgage pre-approval can be a free and useful way to find out how much financing you are eligible for. It also gives you a chance to identify lenders with good offers and shop around for the best options. Typically, a knowledgeable realtor will already have someone that can offer you the best value.


Home buyers with pre-approved financing are every realtor’s priority as they have a higher potential of closing on properties and will go through the entire process of buying a home faster. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can also save you the agony of losing out on your dream home due to delays with down payments or any issues that could arise.


For your mortgage approval, you need to prepare your recent pay stubs, bank statements, credit report, W-2s and occasionally your last couple tax returns.


Down Payment

To close on a home, there will be a required down payment of between 3.5% and 20% of the total value. Once you figure out your budget range, you should start saving for the down payment accordingly. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will incur additional monthly charges in private mortgage insurance. This is to protect the lender if you default on the loan or your home’s value falls suddenly. While it could initially be more costly to put down 20% on a home, you will end up saving more money long term. This is also something a realtor can assist you in understanding what the best option for you is.


Closing Costs

In addition to the down payment, there are other expenses you will incur when closing. These include inspection fees, attorney’s fees, loan fees and appraisal fees. These costs typically add up to about 5% of the mortgage account. A great realtor will be able to negotiate the best financial terms for you when it comes to these costs.


A Knowledgeable Realtor

Once you have your finances and paperwork in order, the next crucial step is to find a reliable and knowledgeable realtor. This person is the connection between you and the best properties available in the market for your price range.


A professional realtor will do much more than show you available houses. They are your chief adviser on the legal and financial aspects of buying a home. They should also be knowledgeable on the neighborhood’s amenities including schools, hospitals, business and even entertainment hotspots. This knowledge will help you in finding the best areas in your city, and in making the best real estate decisions for you and your family. Lastly, they will be great negotiators when it comes to landing you the best deals for your budget and price range.


Getting your paperwork and financing ready way in advance will improve your chances of closing on your dream home without any hiccups. Being prepared and aware can help you save so much money, time, and stress throughout this process.


Come Find Out What Justin Thomas Brings To The Table Today.