Purchasing a home in the Charleston, SC area can feel intimidating and overwhelming, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a veteran in the process. There are questions such as, what can I afford? What is a good interest rate? Is my credit good enough? Do I have enough to put down? How much should I put down? Due to all of these questions and uncertainty, many first-time homebuyers give up on their search for a home, or worse, they decide home buying isn’t realistic for them at this time and they continue to toss their money down the drain with monthly rentals. So, if you are interested in purchasing a house for yourself but you are not sure where to start, here are a few key concepts about homeownership that you should understand before you begin your home-buying journey!
Buy or Rent
Is it time to stop renting and buy a home of your own? While buying a house isn’t right for everyone, there are many benefits to homeownership such as cost savings, privacy, and remodeling to create your dream space! So, if you are a renter in Charleston, SC, or the surrounding area, and are concerned about the rising prices, now may be the time to consider purchasing a home. According to recent statistics, rental prices have increased by over 8% within the last year and will continue to rise as the months go by. This is causing monthly rents to be higher than a monthly mortgage payment. You have no say over whether the cost of rent goes up or whether the property owner decides to sell your apartment or house. When you purchase a house, your monthly payment is sealed for the duration of your mortgage, meaning that it will always remain the same. This allows you the control to establish a budget that you feel comfortable with and gives you the peace of mind that your home will remain yours.
Condo or House
Cost-conscious homebuyers can save some money while living in a condo whenever comparing the costs of living in a single-family home in the same proximity. Condos can cost on average, $100,000 less than single-family homes. They also have lower utility bills, less upkeep, and more options to great locations that can provide quick access to downtown entertainment (aka, less gas money and cheaper Uber rides)! Owning a condo can be very similar to renting an apartment, except that as the owner of your unit, you have the freedom to remodel the unit to your liking, and you can build equity on top of your investment, and this equity can be beneficial later down the road if you choose to purchase a larger home in the future.
Everyone has that dream neighborhood where they would like to live. If you are certain that you can manage it, then you should go for it. However, that isn't always the case. You may want to live in a certain place, and you even start looking for a house in the area but find it to be beyond your means. If that is the case, then you shouldn’t do it. It is better if you open yourself up to looking at a different location that is more manageable for you. As a result, you may find a beautiful place to live with everything that you need without plunging yourself deep into debt. If it is going to be your first home, consider taking a minimalist route and start from the bottom and with time you can save up and move.
With so many home loan options available, it may be difficult to determine the one that’s right for you. While a lender will work with you to find your best solution, you must learn the basics about fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, FHA (Federal Housing Administration), and VA home loans. It’s also a good idea to research any fees associated with your loan. Last, you may want to check your credit report to know where you stand with the credit bureaus to make sure that you are paying all of your bills on time. You’ll also want to hold off on opening or closing any accounts, making any employment changes, or making any large purchases such as a new car, furniture, etc.
Decide Where You Should Live With Team Lail-Chambers!
Home shopping can seem challenging but it doesn’t have to be with Team Lail-Chambers! We can help you decide if a new townhome, condo, or single-family home is your best option. Our staff here at Team Lail-Chambers, led by Bob Chambers and Pheobe Lail-Chambers, are well-acquainted with Charleston and the Lowcountry and are happy to help you decide on the best neighborhood for you and your family. We work hard to match you with a home you'll love. Contact us today! We are ready and waiting to help you find your perfect Charleston home!