If you’re getting ready to buy a home in the Charleston area, there are some tips to prepare yourself for your purchase.
- If you’re considering buying a new home, be sure to keep your credit score as high as possible. In the 3-6 months before buying a home, pay off any debt, don’t make any major purchases, and don’t open new credit cards. You want lenders to see that you are reliable and consistent.
- Get pre-approved! The easiest way to know how much home you can afford is to get preapproval from a lender. You can also shop around for the best interest rates.
- Bigger isn’t always better. Be careful buying the biggest house in a neighborhood. Keep in mind that the neighborhood will appreciate at the same rate, so you narrow your audience when you go to resell your home.
- Ask about Homeowner Association dues. Many neighborhoods have annual or monthly dues. Be sure to look at the big picture for your budget. In addition to your mortgage, you will pay for taxes, insurance, utilities, and HOA fees. Your realtor will help you get all of this information.
- Hire a home inspector! It can save you thousands of dollars to know what you’re getting into in your new home. The inspector is unbiased and will look at the home as exactly what it is. If he/she finds any issues, you can choose not to buy the home, ask the current owners to fix it before closing, or you can use it as a bargaining tool to get a lower purchase price on the home.
- Get to know the neighborhood. You may love the house when you see it in the quiet afternoon, but what if you don’t like the neighborhood in the morning or at night? Visit at different times, practice your commute to and from work, see how far local conveniences are, and what the nearby schools are like. Even if you don’t have kids, school districts can affect your resale value.
- Finally, know how to bid! This is where your realtor is very important. Your realtor has negotiating skills and will know how motivated the seller is. Be sure your opening bid is within your budget and fair to the value of the home. Your realtor will know if the sellers are current on their taxes, what the comparable homes are in the neighborhood, and how the market is for that area.
If you’re local to the Charleston area and you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is a great time as we see a traditional slow-down in the seller’s market pace. Less competition, but still just as many active buyers looking for just the right home- and it might be yours! Plus, when your home is decorated for the holidays it adds so much more appeal and warmth for home showing traffic! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more info on how we get homes sold quickly and for top dollar, or for a current valuation of your property!