If I Want To Start A Family, What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy A Home?


Making the decision to start a family is one of the most important choices you’ll make in your life. It is not something to rush into. Aside from making sure that you are financially ready to support a child, you’ll also need to think about your living situation. Here are the primary concerns you’ll need to take into consideration when buying a home for your growing family.

Your Budget

One of the most important factors you’ll need to evaluate is your budget. You’ll need to find a balance between buying a house that will be large enough to accommodate the changing needs of your family going forward and making sure that it is a home that you can afford.

Remember that children will add several new categories to your budget, including diapers, baby food and an ongoing supply of new clothes as they grow. You’ll also need to factor in unexpected expenses, like visits to the pediatrician or emergency room, when your child gets sick. You will not want to be stretched so thin that you wouldn’t be able to cover these expenses while still making your mortgage payments.

Number of Children

In your mind, you may like the sound of having four children, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually will (nor that it’s the right idea for you). On the other hand, you may think you only want one child but then change your mind later and want to grow your family even more.

In selecting a house, look for one that will be able to house your first child with the possibility of more. Young children can share a bedroom, even if they are of opposite sexes, so don’t feel the need to have separate bedrooms for each child. If you can afford it, get a house with an extra bedroom. You can always use it as a guest bedroom for when the grandparents or that Uncle Jesse in your family decides to make a visit.

Schools in the Area

Your children will need to go to school at some point, unless you plan on homeschooling, so be absolutely sure to look for a neighborhood with good schools.. Focus primarily on the elementary and middle schools, as you may very well end up  moving again by the time your children reach high school.

Family-Friendly Attractions

You’ll want to look for an area that provides plenty of fun things for young children to do. Look for parks and playgrounds nearby, as you’ll likely be spending a fair bit of time there. Day care centers, indoor playgrounds and even toy stores in the area can be signs that a neighborhood is family-friendly.


Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the neighborhood will be safe for your children. Check the crime rate in the area, and look for possible houses on cul-de-sacs. Kids love to play with their friends out in the street, and you don’t want tons of cars whizzing by during rush hour if you can avoid it. Look for other children playing outside or families walking together along the sidewalk. These are positive signs that a neighborhood is safe for children.

Look to the Future

So many home buyers will initially only consider (and still buy) homes that they only plan to stay in for a couple of years, instead of thinking longer term when their children will get older and what items they will need at that time. Once they make friends, uprooting them will become harder. Be sure to think about what is going on in the area and how it might change over the years. Think about what your kids will need then, and not solely what they will only need in the next couple years.  Will this house still be suitable for your family five or even ten years down the line? If the answer is “yes,” you may have very well found your dream home!


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

What Should I Be On The Look For During A Home Tour?


When it comes to any major purchasing decision like buying a home, you always want to be sure of what you’re getting before you buy. There may not be enough time for you to have a second home tour with friends and family for a different opinion on it. It is therefore vital to have a guideline on the areas to look out for before making a decision. The first tour is essential, and one needs to focus their attention on things that will be hard or expensive to change in future as opposed to temporary issues such as personal items, décor and paint colors. Here are a few key areas of a home you should be focusing on:


Areas Of The Home To Concentrate On

  • Location

This is one of the most critical areas to look out for during a home tour. Consider the traffic flow (things to consider) to your ideal home, as congestion would mean getting to work or back home late (plus further expenses like your time and that increased transportation cost). For a potential pleasant presence with the location of your future home, be sure to consider the road systems, nearby buildings, noise, and other neighboring homes. Look out for proximity to public transport and on whether the neighborhood has ample sidewalks and paths that accommodate a leisurely stroll or a bike ride.


  • Lighting

Be sure to look out for whether the house has access to natural light, and permits good airflow. Fresh air and sunlight make a living in a home much more enjoyable, and it helps in reducing the utility bills during summer months (when you’re not lying on the beach) by opening the windows and catching a breeze.


  • Flooring

Consider whether the floor plans and room sizes match your preferences. Does the home have all the rooms you need and in the best size? It is expensive and takes a lot of time to bring down walls trying to create a bigger space. Look out for uneven flooring such as cracks, as it is expensive to repair foundation-associated problems.


  • Water Damage

Look out for possible water damage signs such as musty odor, dark spots and water lines on the ceiling and walls as they are an indication of damages from a leak or burst pipe. It is important to peek at any exposed piping in the laundry room (or possibly) basement to assess water stains, leaks or rust. It is easy to repair a water leakage, but when it has gone for months without detection and has caused notable damages, it could also mean it is unrepairable.


  • Roofs and Gutters

Be sure to look at the roof to make sure it is not worn out.Gutters should be intact. To determine the maintenance level of the roof look out for missing, covered or curling roof tiles. Also check on whether the roof structure has signs of leakages as this could for a new roof which is expensive. The roof may fail to meet the required standards necessary for processing your insurance or mortgage.


  • Space of the Closet

This could be a deal breaker for you in deciding on the home. The storage space should be ideally large enough to accommodate all your belongings and help you at keeping organized.


  • Windows

Pull the curtains to check on the status of the windows. Look out for lopsided frames and give the windows a take to ensure that they slide with ease. Windows that stick while opening may indicate poor foundational issues or poor installation, which can be expensive to repair.


  • The Driveway and Parking area

Be sure to check out the dimensions of the driveway and parking area. A narrow driveway while become frustrating in the long term. A very long driveway will necessitate future maintenance that you may not be completely up for in the future.


Now no matter what your thoughts are always remember to keep them to yourself when touring a home for better bargaining. You might consider bringing a camera (or use your phone if you prefer) to take photos of the property, or possibly even measuring tape in case you decide you’d like to measure something in the house.


These are only a few things to be on the look out for.


If you’re looking for a new home, a great realtor will be able to help you find what you’re looking for.


If you need help finding the right home, contact us today to see what’s available.

What Is There To Love About Sullivan’s Island And Mount Pleasant?


Whether you live here or visit, no Charleston experience is complete without a trip to Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island. Both represent the early history of the area and many of the early residences and plantations are still intact. Both places provide a glimpse into the history of the area from architecture to food.


Mount Pleasant

  • Discover the history. As one of the nation’s oldest cities, you’ll find plenty of places to experience the earliest days of this country. Boone Hall Plantation and Garden, lined with oak trees covered in Spanish moss, gives you a chance to see a working plantation with authentic gardens. If you go there in November, you can watch the 1862 Battle of Secessionville reenacted.
  • Patriots Point Maritime Museum displays warships and planes, along with exhibits that include the Cold War Submarine Memorial and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.
  • Explore the neighborhoods. The Old Village Historic District consists of a 37-block area that’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The homes on the bluffs represent the most affluent, while small homes are sprinkled in between the homes that line the streets. The wooden electrical and cable poles show how electricity originally made its way into the community.
  • Festivals. Come in the spring for the Mount Pleasant Arts Festival or the Blessing of the Fleet, which celebrates the shrimp industry with shrimp eating contests, live music and a parade. The Arts Festival offers plenty of food, fun and exhibits.
  • The Mount Pleasant Holiday Extravaganza starts with a parade and ends with a holiday-oriented farmer’s market laden with arts, crafts and food
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Mount Pleasant boasts six golf courses that enjoy year-round play, four of which are public play. Take the family dolphin watching or try your hand at offshore fishing on a charter boat!
  • Walking and cycling trails give you a chance to see the lush coastal pines and swampy wetlands. There’s no shortage of local parks that have water activities for a warm summer day and shaded picnic shelters.
  • Have a bite to eat. Try Graze, Crave, or Pages Okra Grill for dependably delicious food. If you want to taste Lowcountry food, go to Gullah Cuisine Lowcountry Restaurant and Coleman Public House. Lowcountry cooking features seafood and rice combined in classics like gumbo, boils, and beans and rice. If Sushi and tacos are more you’re thing, you can expect great service and impeccable prices at Local’s. Go there on a Monday for happy hour, and you’ll love their half off Sushi (all night). You’ll walk away with a great experience, a full belly, and a wallet that won’t be emptied out.
  • The Mount Pleasant Library is one of the busiest libraries in the entire state of South Carolina. Whether seeking a place to take your kids to read, a quiet place with wifi to get work done, or seeking community events; it’s a great place to check out.


Sullivan’s Island

  • Historical locations. The Edgar Allen Poe Library may be small, but for Poe and literary aficionados, it’s definitely worth the visit to see where Mr. Poe wrote The Raven. It’s on the way to Fort Moultrie, the only national park in the U.S. that showcases the complete history of the American seacoast defense. It also contains one of the only continental U.S. military installations that had air conditioning during World War 2. 
  • Outdoor adventures galore. How about learning to kiteboard? It’s a sport  enjoyed by locals that combines every aspect of water skiing, surfing, skateboarding, paragliding and sailing. For the less adventuresome, try Sullivan Island’s Beach that sits on the Atlantic with broad, sandy beaches and will be much less busy than Folly Beach.
  • Go for a walk. Sullivan’s Island is small enough to walk the neighborhoods to view some of the most luxurious homes in the Charleston  region. You might catch a view of the Eye of the Storm house, world-renowned for its hurricane-proof, monolithic design. Others showcase the architectural styles in this region, from colonial to Queen Anne to Greek and Gothic Revival.
  • Stop to eat. In spite of its size and residential character, you’ll find ample restaurants to enjoy meal. The Obstinate Daughter, Sullivan’s Restaurant and Fiery Ron’s Home Team Barbecue (they have amazing wings) have earned high ratings and each offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.


If You’re Considering Buying, Let’s Talk About What’s Available In Mount Pleasant And Sullivan’s Island Today.

If I’m Buying In The Winter, What Do I Need To Know?

People have different preferences when it comes to buying houses  during winter in Charleston. Some prefer to hold on until the winter is over, whereas others seize the available opportunity since they have decided to remain active. In as much as you would want to make a real estate purchase during the winter, you need to be very strategic. Comparatively, buying a house in winter is less thrilling than what that substantial acquisition would likely be like in the summer. If you want to make a real estate purchase, there are several aspects you have to consider to be on par with the realities of winter purchases.


The Real Veracity about The Charleston Real Estate Market in The Winter

  • During winter, there are fewer real estate properties on the market

There is not much happening during winter in terms of buying homes since there are usually less on the market. It is even harder to typically get a new home as well. The advantage of this season is that not many people are looking for houses, which might work in your favor in the way of getting better offers.


  • The scramble for good homes goes down during Winter

Not many buyers engage in home purchases during winter. It tends to be easier to close a deal, especially for those people who are possibly disillusioned and frustrated by packed open houses. One of the better ways strategies is to hit the Charleston market when it is low, and that falls around Christmas since there are less or minimal buyers actively looking (they’re waiting till next year to pull the trigger).


  • Home Inspection may not include everything

As a winter buyer, you need to be sure that everything in your prospective new home is working properly. For example, properly testing the air conditioning during colder weather can be hard. What you have to be aware of is the type and age of the air conditioner, as well as be certain to verify the roof. Feel free to ask for building permits or receipts to ascertain if the roof has been replaced or not. You can also seek an arborist’s assessment of the trees at any point during the year (you won’t have to be too worried about frost on the tree, but it is still something to consider and be aware of).


  • Home sellers are set to close the transaction

Most homes that are on the market during winter belong to owners who do not have the luxury of waiting until spring, maybe they want to move to another city or another location in Charleston that is better for their children’s access to education, or maybe there’s things they didn’t consider when they first bought. Their homes are available and might have irresistible prices.


  • Interests rates are stable, but that might change

Economic conditions and policy decisions affect interest rates. Interest rates have maintained at around 4% all year. However, the Federal Reserve hinted at an increase in the interest rates in the near future. A prediction by Mortgage Bankers Association indicates that these rates will experience a rise in December and possibly  three times more in 2018. However, they noted that a 30-year mortgage would not exceed 5% throughout 2018. As a buyer you absolutely need to keep tabs on the interest rates, in that if they rise it very well may affect what you can afford.


So be sure to arm yourself with valuable information that pertains to the winter real estate market. This will enable you to get the best offer as well as meet the expectations you have for your new home. Cold weather and shorter days might make looking for a house during winter hard, rest assured though of a less competitive environment. Now you can duly commence your winter house search and close that deal that you have patiently waited for!


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

Top Steps To Prepare For Buying A House In 2018

The process of buying a home can be scary, owing to the process and commitments involved. But going through the preparatory stages enlightens you on how best to go through each stage. Buying a house can be a big and marvelous investment. It is, therefore vital to prepare yourself adequately for this process. This guide will take you through the basics of what you need to know now in order to buy a house in 2018.


Top 7 steps To Take In Preparing to Buy a House

  1. First Re-evaluate your finances

Your lenders will leverage your credit reports to decide whether they will finance your project or not. So, be sure to ask for a credit report from one of the major local credit bureaus. Once you receive the credit report, scrutinize it closely and fix any errors that you might find.

Lastly, check your credit score with platforms such as myfico.com (ahead of time) to determine if you will likely be granted a mortgage and at which likely rate.


  1. Set a budget

Your budget will largely be dependent on your gross annual income. It’s good practice to go for a home that costs about 2.5 times your annual gross salary. You can combine forces with your partner to increase your spending power, as well as be in a position to go for a more costly home.


  1. Visit a lender

Depending on your credit score, lenders will help you choose between adjustable-rate mortgage and a fixed-rate loan. You may also ask the lender to preapprove you in preparation for the actual buying process.

As a cautionary measure, you may want to get pre-underwriting, which is basically a review of the documents you will use when you are actually buying the home. Some of the documents will include Paycheck stubs for the past few months, W-2 forms and tax returns that date around two years back.


  1. Seek out prospective homes

Now that you’ve got a budget at hand, start shopping around for a prospective home and find out if they fit your preferences.  Be sure that your real estate agent is knowledgeable and professional..

If you come across a property you are interested in, ask about the following;

– The duration that the home has been on sale;

–  The home’s pricing against the neighborhood.

–  Verify copies of insurance, utility and tax fees. This will help you unearth any possible hidden costs.

–  Likewise, ask about past transactions on the home as it can give you hints on whether the house is lowly or possibly overly priced.


  1. Source for a down payment and closing costs

Down payment can go as low as 3 % if you opt to go with FHA programs to highs of even 28 % for ordinary lenders. For a smooth transaction, be sure to save up for the down payment and the closing costs. Potential sources of finance for a down payment can include borrowing from your 401(k) plan where you can borrow up to half your savings. Duly verify this action before you make it though.


  1. Take time to re-evaluate the offers at hand

Once you’ve gone through the processes, you need to settle down and think over the investment. Most agents will certainly create a sense of urgency by pressuring you into buying. By delaying the buying, you’ll have a chance to learn more on the properties from neutral sources and you may even get a chance to negotiate for a discount.


  1. Make your move

Once you are convinced this is the preferred home for you and is the best deal you can get, go ahead and kick start the purchase process. Be sure to keep consulting those who are acquitted with the process so that everything turns out smoothly. A great real estate agent will able to make this as smooth for you as possible.


Bottom line

The process of buying a home can be scary due to the process and commitments involved. Nonetheless, going through the preparatory stages enlightens you on how best to go through each stage.


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

What Should I Ask A Listing Agent During An Open House?


An open house offers arguably one of the best shopping experiences in the real estate space. In fact, it provides an opportunity for numerous potential home buyers to view a variety of houses without the need for an appointment. Aside from giving the much-desired sneak peek into the potential house, it allows you to make valuable queries that delve deeper into various aspects of the house. In case, you are wondering what sort of queries you need to put across during an open house; the following list has you covered.


1.Could the house be having any problems?

Do not assume the house is in perfect condition just because the walls are painted or simply because it looks nice.  Be sure to ask the listing agent whether the house has any existing problems. Most states in the US require real estate agents to give potential buyers full disclosure of code violations or structural issues.  For this reason, a transparent agent will give you information pertaining to details that you could have missed during your visit or personal inspection.


2.Has the house been on the market for long?

A listing agent can help you get the correct timeframe that the house has been on the market. If the house has been unsold for a considerable duration, there may be underlying reasons behind it such as the price. Moreover, the duration may play a huge role in determining the motivation of the seller.


3.How is the neighborhood?

If you are an avid homebuyer, you ought to know that a home goes beyond your personal space.  The surrounding neighborhood plays a vital role in determining how comfortable you and your family will be after you purchase the desired house. After all, it could almost be a more determining factor in how happy you are with your living situation than your own house.  Hence, asking this question will help you narrow down your housing options, as you will be better placed to pick a home that complements your overall lifestyle.


4.What are the utility costs for the house?

When you attend an open house, ensure that you do not leave out this piece of information.  Bear in mind that an older roof, home insulation, and windows may affect your utility bills such as electricity costs.  Average utility costs for the house you are interested in will help you gauge whether it’s a worthy investment or one that will eventually become a financial burden. This is such a vital aspect to consider as it will affect your bottom line. Also, whether the house in energy efficient could be something to consider in the future due to possible tax deductions you could receive for buying energy efficient appliances or if looking at upgrading the house once you move in.


5.Does the seller have a timetable for selling the house?

Different sellers each have distinct motivations behind selling their property. What’s more, they likely have a specific period for selling their home. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you find out what the seller’s plans are to help you come up with a suitable strategy.  In cases where the seller may be in a hurry to relocate, the price may be more negotiable as opposed to when he or she is not.


6.Has the home received other offers?

Keep in mind that most listing agents are always going to be eager to inform you of the available offers from other potential buyers in an attempt to drive up the final price or trigger a bidding war (it’s business tactics 101). All the same, you have to obtain information about this matter to remain abreast of the existing competition.  If many potential buyers have shown similar interest in the house that you want, you may need to revisit your home buying plans to ensure you beat your competition.


7.Have there been any recent renovations?

Knowing whether recent improvements have been undertaken will help you rule out the need to redo what has already been fixed (as referenced earlier).   In this case, ask about the condition of different items like the electrical system, plumbing, and roof. Repairing these aspects can be downright costly (especially a roof). Hence, you absolutely must know about the expenses to expect after you buy the home.


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

What Makes A Neighborhood Great?


To both tourists and locals, Charleston SC is not just a top travel destination, but also a vibrant place to live in and work. Being one of the gems of the East Coast, the neighborhoods here present a mix of activity, world-class restaurants, history, and beauty. In fact, the job industry here is mostly military, technology, and tourism. However, do not make the mistake of settling for any home that hits the market.


Understand that choosing a great neighborhood leaves you with a property that depreciates at a slower rate. In real estate, location is a common mantra, meaning that the golden rule when closing a deal is to remember you are also buying to become part of the neighborhood too. As you evaluate your opinion on what a great neighborhood would be, be sure to match that to your immediate and future needs. If you are planning to permanently relocate to Charleston SC with your family, below are excellent areas to consider.



Downtown has an electric lifestyle, a quaint city rich in golf courses, adventure, beaches and high-end shopping. Adorned with beauty and a touch of history, Downtown is accentuated by cobblestone streets, church steeples, custom iron gates, and a general historical look and feel.


South of Broad is a highly sought after neighborhood you might want to consider. Here, you find will find lash architectural details with iron-fenced courtyards, quaint carriage houses, and sophisticated mansions. It is also one of the most exclusive areas in all of Charleston. Although it is popular with horse-drawn carriages and tourists, it tends to be a very quiet neighborhood, allowing the residents to enjoy the tranquility of the suburbs while being located downtown.



Summerville is known for successful school football teams. The seventh largest neighborhood in South Carolina is a highly desired place to live for people of all ages for its reputation of top school districts. It is endeared for its close proximity to area hospitals, schools, and even major job hubs like Volvo and Boeing.


Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is a great neighborhood to live in for its many shopping centers, schools, restaurants, recreational activities, and tranquil living. Among its neighborhoods, the Old Village and I’On tend to be the most popular. The Old Village is close-knit, with most of its residents having lived there for generations. Although the real estate here can be pricey, the advantage is that kids have access to easy biking to school, fishing, and even the local Mount Pleasant Library (one of the busiest in the state).


West Ashley

Across the Ashley River lies West Ashley, a city with a rich set of styles when it comes to homes for sale, and a huge shopping center. This charming area is diverse offering many lifestyle perks and has an ecclectic mix of locals including retirees, students, families, and professionals. The beauty of West Ashley is that it has something unique for each family. One notable neighborhood here is the Byrnes Down. It has manageable house with sizes of up to three bedrooms, one can easily access the West Ashley Greenway, and the trees are canopied as well.


The Islands

The islands (like Daniel’s Island and Sullivan’s Island) leave a breathtaking view of landscape and beaches, making it the perfect place for nature-loving families. Sullivan’s island especially has a high demand. This island has a rich history and natural beauty that has a way of absolutely charming home buyers. Across Charleston, this is the city where you can even find oceanfront public elementary schools.


From its sophisticated culture, great schools, temperatures, to historical architecture, The Holy City (Charleston), is America’s most beautiful and hard to leave city. If you are looking to buy a home, Charleston’s neighborhoods will have exciting spots to consider.


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

What Are The Top Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make?

Buying your first homeWhat-Are-The-Top-Mistakes-First-Time-Home-Buyers-Make is a very exciting time for many. But it can also become hectic and disappointing if you aren’t fully prepared or fall into some of the mistakes the first-time homebuyers often make. One of the best ways to avoid falling into making mistakes when buying your first home is to work with a knowledgeable and professional realtor who can help you navigate through the buying process. Nonetheless, here are some of the top mistakes that can turn trying to buy your first home into an unpleasant experience and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.


Not Knowing Your Credit Score

Before you even start to look at houses, you should check your credit score and credit history several months beforehand. A bad credit score or errors on your credit report will cost you in the way of having to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage. Of course, that’s if you can even obtain a mortgage in the first place. Make sure that all the information is correct on your report and if you do have accurate bad marks on your credit, take action to start repairing your credit.


Not Having Enough Money Saved

It’s great that you have money saved for a down payment on a house…but what about closing costs, homeowners’ insurance and property taxes? Then there are all the essentials you are probably going to need as a first-time homebuyer like a lawn mower, tools for minor repairs  around the house and appliances, like a washer and dryer possibly. It’s a good idea to plan on saving at least 5 percent of the price of the home for closing costs and to sock away at least two to three months’ worth of mortgage payments in the bank for unexpected expenses.


Home Shopping Without Being Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Speaking of mortgage payments, a big mistake that many first-time homebuyers make is failing to get pre-approved for a mortgage before they start looking at homes. While you may have a good idea what you can afford to pay each month, not officially knowing how much a mortgage lender is going allow you to borrow can throw a wrench into your home buying plans. When you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, you have a realistic idea of what your price range will be for buying a home. Having a letter showing that you have been pre-approved for a mortgage also means sellers and agents will take your offer much more seriously.


Getting Stuck Paying Private Mortgage Insurance

While you might not have to put down a 20 percent payment down on your first home, doing so will prevent you from having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, if you do end up having to pay PMI, as soon as you have paid your mortgage down enough so that you only owe 80 percent of its value, notify your lender. Otherwise, you will have to continue paying this extra charge until your lender automatically cancels your PMI when you reach 78 percent owned on your mortgage.


Not Investigating What Home Insurance is Needed

Depending on where you are buying a home will determine what options you will need with your homeowners’ insurance. Potential hazards, like having a built-in swimming pool will also add to the cost of homeowners’ insurance. Before putting an offer in on a house, find out what your insurance costs will be before hand.


There are number of things to be aware if it is your first time buying. Being aware, prepared, and having the right real estate agent in your corner can be make a vast difference.


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

How to Better Your Chances For An Open House Success?


Starting your new home search nowadays typically means first looking online through multiple pages of pictures and reading paragraphs of descriptions. While you will find some exciting properties through this search, you may want to use a traditional method when it’s time to make an offer.  What typically works best and gives the best source of information about a house is performing a traditional walk-through during an open house. This then leads some wonder how to better your chances for an open house success.


Now, if you find a house that promises to make a great home for you, you’ll want to make an offer that gets noticed and not thrown out amongst all those other offers coming in from the open house. There are additional tips for you to consider when you set out to tour open houses. Use this list to make sure any offer you decide to make has a better chance of being accepted.


First Be Sure To Create Rapport with The Seller’s Agent

If you are previewing a new home at a private showing or as part of an open-house event, you’ll need to create a rapport with the seller’s agent. When you get to know the seller’s agent, you get an insight into the seller’s needs and wants with the sale. This insight could inform you of a preferred closing date and even what type of buyer the seller is hoping for in the sale of their home. This information will help you in making an offer that stands out and has a better chance of being chosen.


Utilize Open Houses During The Week

You can gain more critical clues about a property if you attend the open-house during midday or possibly during happy hour on a workday, when less potential buyers will be present. During midday most people will be having their lunch and less likely to appear at the house, giving you a better advantage on viewing and possibly making an offer. The process of purchasing a home may seem a lengthy one, however; it does not take too much time to sell a home.  Be sure to optimize every opportunity you can arrange to get access to the house.


Make Sure To Maintain Your Poker Face

Buyers will often be present at the open house. If this house looks like the answer to your dreams, just make sure to keep your excitement to yourself. More so, save the feelings for your celebration if your offer actually gets accepted. Buyers will be looking for a level of interest in their property and reactions could affect which offers they will take and how quickly.


Private Tours Can Be A Good Idea

Having a private tour is an excellent opportunity for you to get a closer look at the house. During private tours with an agent, it is unlikely the buyer will be present. Ask your agent if  you can schedule a private visit before the doors open to the open-house and insist on this point if you are interested in making an offer for the property. If the house turns out to be what you’re looking for, make your bid compelling. The seller will then compare all other offers against what you have set.


Get to Know The Neighborhood

Be sure to explore the neighborhood where your ideal house is located. Driving by the house on a weekday morning or in the evening will give you an idea of who you will be living close to. You may even decide to drive by again during rush hour to determine what type of traffic you’ll have to deal with in your typical day to day. This information is almost as valuable as the condition of the actual property itself. Who you live near and the location of your home will strongly affect your happiness with your new home.


At the end of the day, buying a home is not always the easiest; but it does not need to be complicated.


Having the right real estate agent can be the difference between a frustrating and painstaking process, versus one that leaves you happy.


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

What Are The Top Mistakes Buyers Make In A Seller’s Market?


The U.S economy is projected to experience a 2.0% growth throughout 2017. Only 62% of new homes, together with existing residential properties, were regarded as affordable to the average American in 2016. Now, what about for our current year? Well, the rate of home prices rises by about 5% yearly, which means the percentage of these homes (in the affordable price range) will further decrease year over year as prices go up (especially in a market that appreciates like Charleston does).


The numbers signal an obvious hike in home prices, leaving middle-class folks with a huge challenge when thinking of bidding on a home in a hot seller’s market so they can avoid making costly mistakes. However, by understanding the shortcomings of many buyers in real estate markets, you can save significantly and make the most efficient decisions for you and your wallet.


Here are a few items to be aware of if you’re looking to buy in a hot seller market:


  1. Taking Action Out of Desperation

It is challenging to overcome the disappointment that sets in when you see a home moved from the “new” class to the “awaiting approval” category. At the back of your mind, always remember that acting out of desperation can vastly compromise the transaction.


Unfortunately, desperation always tends to increase the probability of someone making irrational decisions (no matter what the circumstance is). Such instances can include either negotiating on a home that maybe does not meet your true preference or paying more than the property is worth. By duly researching on the available homes you continually gain useful insights regarding the purchasing process,enabling you to decide what amenities you require in your future home. A great realtor will also be able to vastly help you in understanding the Charleston market and position you for success.


  1. Lack of “On-Call” Preparedness

As it’s name suggests, hot sellers’ markets will see the sales of houses go at a fast rate, with most properties appearing in the “listed now” list to the “under contract” list. With many shoppers in the market, you need to always be ready to seize the opportunity to have a grasp of attaining your dream home.


  1. Bypassing Market Analysis and Trends

Most people make the resolute decision to buy independent of what’s happening in the seller’s markets. On another token, it is critical to make real estate decisions based on your current family status, and what it will be after five years. If you’re only thinking about your current conditions, things could change in the next couple years; whether that’s maybe your job or possibly concerning items pertaining to your family like education opportunities.


Now, ignorance may be bliss, but burying your head in the sand on the buzz going around in the markets could result in you losing out on great deals on some beautiful homes. That compels many to lose control of the situation and throw every last dollar on the next house they see, whether or not it fits their taste. Being prepared and thinking smart in this step will help you vastly, which is further reason to work with a great and knowledgeable realtor.


  1. Hesitating to Bid

Readiness for an On-Call deal could at times mean that you miss the chance of visiting the property without making an offer. Any great realtor will be able to offer a virtual walkthrough or videos for home sales, so you may have a sneak peek of what the house has to offer. Making an offer marks the start of the buying process, and it is recommendable that you make an offer and view the home instead of solely seeing it enlisted as “under contract.”


  1. Foggy Financial Plan

Avoid trying to juggle all the financial numbers in your brain. Make sure to verify all the income you’ll be receiving in the future, your loan payments, and all your utility bills by coming up with a financial figure (ahead of time) that you will be comfortable paying duly for a future home. Real estate matters have significant financial implications, and it is only by having a clear mind on what you can afford that you will be able to succeed.


Sometimes, you may be required to hike your price range on a whim. If you are new to the market, your realtor might be able to enlighten you on tax breaks which can assist you financially. If they can’t directly, they will likely be able to connect you with someone who can.



The demand for new homes simply keeps rising, and people sometimes make bids before even viewing the home to win over other buyers.  Be sure to avoid the above mistakes and raise your chances of landing a great deal on an amazing home in Charleston.


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