Home Buying Guide

Buying a home in Charleston?

Whether you’re a first time or fifth time homebuyer, this home buyer’s guide will help you successfully navigate the process of buying a home.

In today’s information packed Internet world, you don’t really need an agent to help you find a home (but I’d be happy to help with your search if you prefer). What you do need is a “go-to” resource throughout the buying process to help guide you through the complicated process from contract to closing.

The Home Buying Process

Home Search

It’s very easy for today’s buyer to find homes for sale but sorting through the options available requires that you prioritize what is most important to you. Having a good idea of what you’re looking for will simplify the process.

The age of the home, condition, floor plan, how many stories, master up or down or split from the secondary bedrooms, garage, lot size and location are just some of the many considerations to take into account in your home search.

Personalized Home Buying Services

If you prefer, I’d be happy to help you refine your search and set up listing alerts when new homes come on the market or there is a price change for any properties that meet your search criteria. Additionally I can:

  • Provide immediate access to any new listing
  • Preview homes that may be of potential interest to you
  • Provide a comprehensive market evaluation of all homes you choose to investigate further
  • Provide consultation and recommendations of the written offer with terms approved by you
  • Negotiate the best possible price for you
  • Communicate all procedures leading to the transaction closing

Using A Buyer’s Agent

With homes for sale in Charleston ranging from luxury homes in the Historic Charleston Peninsula or oceanfront or ocean oriented homes in world class resorts to homes for any budget in suburban communities and neighborhoods, with that kind of money at stake, it makes sense to have a real estate professional to help you.

When you are buying a home, the advantages of using your own buyer’s agent are significant. Whether you are interested in buying an existing home or new construction, your agent will negotiate on your behalf, protect your interests and insure the smoothest possible closing.

Many consumers don’t realize that when they go to a builder’s model home that the salesperson actually represents the seller of the property, in this case, the builder. When you contact the listing agent, that agent represents the seller and the seller’s best interests. While you can successfully conclude a transaction, your interests are not being fully represented. For more information, please ask about South Carolina’s required agency disclosure form.

Buying a home is often one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. Sellers have agents working for them and home buyers should too.

Why choose me to be your buyer’s agent? As a dedicated buyer’s agent, I perform services for you that a seller’s agent can’t – such as showing you reasons not to buy a certain property, negotiating the best possible price and terms for you including any contingencies in the contract that protect you rather than the seller and keeping confidential any information that could hurt your bargaining position. Value added services include using my extensive vendor support network team where I can provide you with referrals to legal, financial, home inspection, warranty and other services – all tailored to your unique needs.

My personal commitment to you extends beyond a single point of sale. From house hunting to closing, I’m here for you every step of the way – don’t leave home without me!

Quick Tips

Mortgage Preapproval

To put yourself in the strongest possible negotiating position in today’s market, you need a mortgage preapproval letter from your lender. This occurs when all the information is both checked and verified. The only loose end is the appraisal of the property. The preapproval process takes anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending on your situation. And a preapproval letter demonstrates that you are a strong buyer when a seller is reviewing your offer.

Develop Your Wish List and “Rule Outs”

Before house hunting, make a list of ten things you want in your new home. Then make a list of ten things you don’t want. Create a scorecard to rate each property to help avoid confusion and keep things in perspective when you are comparing homes.

When house hunting, keep in mind the difference between “skin and bones”. Skin represents easily changed surface finishes like flooring, paint, wallpaper and window coverings. Bones are things that cannot be changed such as location, view, size of lot, school district, noise in the area, etc. Buy a house with good bones because the skin can always be changed to suit your taste.

And I always recommend you imagine each home as if it were vacant and consider each on its merits, not the sellers decorating skill.

Finally a Word About the Benefits of Home Ownership

Home ownership offers a number of benefits including building equity, saving for the future, a hedge against inflation and most importantly, creating an environment for your family. There are tax advantages to home ownership and the equity you earn is yours. Despite the downturn of the past few years, over time homes have historically increased in value.