Are you thinking of buying your first home? Congrats! Your first real estate transaction is exciting but terrifying at the same time. Knowing the answers to the below questions can help remove some of the stress. Remember a good agent can make this process a lot easier.
- Where do I begin?: The first step is getting pre-approved for a home mortgage. Unless you are paying cash, you need a mortgage. By getting pre-approved you know how much you can afford.
- Hong long will it take?: The time varies from person to person. Once your offer gets accepted your agent can give you a estimated timeline.
- What does your Realtor do? He/She will help guide you throughout the entire process. They do a lot more than just walking through the homes with you. In short they educate you on different options and represent you. Just because someone is the listing agent does not mean they have to be your agent.
It is important to note the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. A Realtor subscribes to a strict code of ethics and is regulated by the National Association of Realtors.
- How much do you pay a realtor? Nothing! While many people give the realtor a gift ( ex: nice bottle of wine) after closing it is not mandatory. A realtor gets paid from the seller.
Before listing a home the agent and seller agree on a commission. Then the listing agent pays the buyer's agent for bringing the buyer.
- What should my credit score be? The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. The minimum score needed for approval is constantly changing. Your loan officer and agent will be your best source.
To help your credit score pay bills on time, do not cancel any credit cards and avoid major purchases.
How much money do I need for the down payment? The amount needed depends on the loan type. The average is 3-5% of the purchase price. USDA and VA loans require no money down.
Are they any other cost besides the down payment? Yes there are other cost besides the down payment. The down payment though is typically the largest with loan origination being the second largest. Loan origination is typically 2-4% of the loan amount. Other cost include: Earnest money, moving expenses, home inspection ( optional but highly recommended ).
When do I receive the keys? In most cases home buyers receive the keys at closing.
Address: 3655 North Santee River RdSubdivision: Not within a SubdivisionCity: GeorgetownDescription: Gracefully occupying more than nine acres in North Santee, this exclusive estate is ideally situated in the lush grounds of the South Carolina lowcountry. A main residence, three bedroom guest house, staff house and multiple outbuildings offer a lifestyle of refined Southern luxury. Built in 1831, the main house offers 4,100 heated square feet of comfortable living space with three bedrooms, two baths and hardwood floors throughout. The estate includes several guest homes and cabins with heated space and fireplaces. There is a one bedroom, one bath cabin with fireplace and 425 heated sq ft. Another outbuilding is a former staff house with 3 bedrooms, two baths with fireplace and 1500 heated sq ft. The caretakers quarters, previously a horse stable, is now a one bedroom, one bath structure with 1,100 heated sq ft. Formerly a major rice plantation in the 1800s, the home is on the National Register of Historic Places and featured in the Georgetown Plantation Tour of Homes. The estate was previously owned by the prominent Lowndes family of South Carolina and later conveyed to Eugene du Pont. This estate is a truly unique offering in the prestigious Carolina lowcountry. The Wicklow Hall Plantation House is a two-story clapboard structure, set upon a low brick foundation, with Greek Revival features on the interior and exterior. The central hall of the main residence boasts a vaulted ceiling, and the hand carved door and window casements are reminiscent of Egyptian building techniques. The use of such exotic architectural style is quite untypical for the area. The expansive and secluded Wicklow Hall Plantation offers true Southern lowcountry charm and convenient access to Georgetown and Charleston.
Address: 57 Patriot CtNeighborhood: Wedgefield PlantationCity: GeorgetownMLS#: 1514913Description: Very nice 3 bedroom 2 and 1/2 bath custom built house on the golf course in beautiful Wedgefield Plantation. This open floored planned house includes crown molding, hardwood floors, high ceilings, Jenn-air stove and Eastonite counter tops. The fenced back yard is nicely landscaped with a screened porch, large deck and a crystal blue pool overlooking the golf course. The property is located on a very quite cul-de-sac road. If you're into boating , Wedgefield Palntation has it's own boat landing into the pristine Black River. From this home you're only minutes to the historic Georgetown with it's fine dining and great shopping. Charleston and Myrtle Beach are less than a hour away. If you're looking for a home, this is a must see.Listing Agent: Michael Walsh (843) 240-5906
In the dog days of summer, temperatures rises and thermostats go down. With this comes higher electricity bills. For those trying to cut back, here are a few tips to stay cool and keep your bill lower.
Lightbulbs: Switch from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. This will impact the temperature of your room and the amount eclectic you use.
Home improvements: Simple home improvements can affect your home's temperature.
1) Insulated window films - keeps heat from coming into your home from the sun's glare.
2) Plating trees - Planting tree's strategically around your home can add shade to cool down your home.
3) Awning - Adds shade and crates a cool outdoor living area.
1) The exhaust fan in the kitchen or bathroom removes rising hot air that is produced by showering or cooking. It is recommended to use the exhaust fan only when someone is cooking or using the bathroom.
2) Box fans and ceiling fans cost less to run than AC. It is reccomanded to place your AC a few degrees higher than use fans to help cool the home.
3) Change your ceiling fan direction: Having your ceiling fan blow forward (counter-clockwise) forces the room air down, giving you a wind chill effect. It is recommended that you change your ceiling fan direction with the season for optimal energy consumption.
Blinds: Having your blinds, shades or curtains closed during the day can help block the sun's heat from enter
ing your home. This is most important for windows facing south and west.
Filters: During the summer it is reccomanded that you change the filters every month. The AC working harder due to the filters add about 5% to your bill.
Home inspection is a important part of the home buying expereince. Below you will find home inspections tips from Realtor Michael Walsh.
Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?
Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?
Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced? Are there any trees encroaching on it?
Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?
Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks?
Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.
Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there's a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)
Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?
Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator?
Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Is there an odor in the house? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet basement.
123 Ringneck Ct.
Neighborhood: Belle Isle
If you are looking for privacy with breathtaking water and wooded views, look no further! Make sure that this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home is on your list to see today! Nestled near Winyah Bay in Belle Isle, this grand home offers the most serene marsh views of Low Country nature at its finest! Sitting on over 2 acres of land, the home also includes several multipurpose rooms such as an office/study, sun room, craft/utility room, and workshop. With two large decks on the rear overlooking the water and a large balcony on the front overlooking the property, you have plenty of space to enjoy outdoor living. An extra large master bedroom measures 20X13 with dual closets and the updated kitchen with butcher block island overlooks the sun room and the water. Below the home there is a great storage area or workshop and the ability to park up to 5 cars or your boat or recreational vehicle. The roof of the home, the siding, the septic tank, and an HVAC unit have recently been replaced due to general maintenance and care. Do not miss your opportunity to see this home! This gorgeous low country home will not be available for long!
Listing Agent: Amy Campbell (843) 318-6850 and Drew Albert (843) 424-1682