Is it time to 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 ready to buy a house in Charleston, SC, or the surrounding area, now may be the best time to do so! But, how can you get the most out of your money? We’re glad you asked because we know some of the best-kept secrets in real estate and we want to share them with you!
Don’t Try to Time the Market
Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is not narrowed down to a science. Yes, we can predict, but we can never guarantee when prices will drop or inflate. So the best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you may miss out.
The difference between renting and home ownership is the sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payments, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities, and HOA (homeowner association) fees. New homeowners also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance, and potential property-tax increases. Make sure that your budget can cover the expected as well as the unexpected!
Rein In Your Spending
It’s not wise to make any huge purchases three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit report and number. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy any large item such as a new car, or new furniture, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.
Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan
We cannot say this enough! There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can't afford.
Stalk the Neighborhood
Before you put an offer in on a house, swing by the property at different times of the day to get a feel for the area. Drive by the house to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services.
Bid Like a Pro
Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable and isn’t going to totally offend the seller. You need to look at what other homes have gone for in that neighborhood and you want to get an average price per square foot. Also, a nice rounded-up number sounds like every other bid out there so try to stick out by offering a more specific “oddball” number instead. This will also help you to come across as a buyer who has put more careful thought into their bid.
Know the House Inside and Out
Would you buy a car without checking under the hood first? No! So make sure to hire a home inspector. A home inspector will provide you with the information needed to make the best, and most educated, the decision as to whether or not to buy. If the inspector does find any issues with the home, you can use it as a bargaining tool for lowering the price of the home.
Find Your Dream House With Team Lail-Chambers!
If you’re planning to be a homeowner one day in Charleston, SC, the best thing you can do is start preparing now by keeping these specific elements of a home in mind. Call Team Lail-Chambers today and determine if now is the time for you to buy! The staff here, 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!