Thinking about buying a home in the Mount Pleasant area? Even if you have some real estate experience, you might still have a few questions about the buying process—and that's totally okay! Whether you're an experienced investor or a first time buyer, you'll always benefit from brushing up on your real estate knowledge.
Ready to get started? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that I get from Mount Pleasant buyers. Not finding answers to your questions? Don't hesitate to give me a call!
So... where should I start the process?
Before you start touring homes, it's a good idea to figure out just how much you can afford to spend. That means you should take some time to evaluate your income, research potential lenders, set a budget, and check out our handy mortgage calculator to gauge your monthly payments.
While you're at it, consider checking out all of the fabulous neighborhoods around the Mount Pleasant area. Whether you're looking for a waterfront villa or a peaceful suburban escape, you'll find just what you need here in the lowcountry.
How do I know what to look for in a home?
As you consider what you're looking for in a home, it's crucial to distinguish between your wants and needs. You're probably not going to find a home that has every little detail that you're looking for, but if you outline your dealbreakers and necessities, it can make your search so much easier.
Feeling a little lost? Try checking out some homes for sale in your ideal neighborhood or area to get an idea of what you like and dislike...as well as how much you can afford.
Why should I use a real estate agent?
Some buyers don't want to work with an agent to avoid paying commission or costly fees—but this actually isn't the case. In most transactions, the seller, not the buyer, pays the commission for both agents...which means you'll gain all the benefits of working with a pro without paying a dime!
Wondering how using a real estate agent can give you a competitive edge? They'll serve as your hyper local expert and guide to the area, which means they can navigate you towards the right neighborhoods for your budget and needs. Speaking of price, their insider knowledge can help you determine which homes are priced fairly...and which ones aren't. You also won't have to worry about understanding legal jargon or handling complicated paperwork, either—they'll do all that for you. As if that isn't enough, they can also reach out to their broad network of contacts to find service providers that you can trust, such as home inspectors, lenders, and closing attorneys.
I could go on and on about the benefits of working with an agent—they simply never end!
Where and how can I get a loan?
Mortgages might seem overwhelming—after all, they aren't a "one-size fits all" kind of loan. As you search for the right lender, start out by contacting banks, credit unions, and private mortgage brokers. If you're not sure which lender will work right for you, consider asking your agent or friends for recommendations. It's also worth reaching out to your own bank or credit union first, as they might offer you special rates or discounts. Lenders that are local to Mount Pleasant might also know of special state or city government programs that could lower your interest rate or monthly payments.
No matter which direction you take, it's important to shop around before you settle on one lender. You won't know what's out there unless you explore all of your options—and there's no harm in giving a potential lender a call to learn more about their programs.
What if I have bad credit or no down payment?
Many would-be homebuyers shy away from purchasing their own place because they have bad credit or haven't saved for a down payment. However, you still have plenty of options available to you! The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers insured loans to buyers with lower income or low credit scores. Be sure to explore loans through other government agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the US Department of Agriculture. The SC Housing Homeownership Program, which has helped over 42,000 state residents purchase homes, is also a great option for first-time buyers.
Are you an active or retired member of the armed forces? If so, you might be eligible for a VA loan, which offers lower credit standards and qualifications, as well as a 0% down payment.
What will I pay upfront to buy a home?
Your down payment is likely the biggest expense that comes with buying a home. On average, homebuyers will pay 3% to 20% of a home's value when they purchase it. For example, you'll probably pay anywhere from $6,000 to $40,000 if you're buying a $200,000 home. However, there are a few more costs and fees you should factor in to your purchase.
Paperwork, lender charges, attorney fees, home appraisals, home inspections, and various other expenses are labelled as closing costs, although these are typically low for buyers. Typically, you should budget a few thousand dollars for these extra charges—but if you have any questions, your agent should be able to give you a more exact estimate for your individual circumstances.
What other costs are there to home ownership?
Aside from your monthly payments, down payments, and closing costs, there are a few more expenses that go into owning a home.
You'll probably notice that your homeowners insurance and property taxes are bundled into your monthly mortgage payments. Don't forget about interest, which is the extra money you pay when you borrow money from your lender.
Depending on your individual circumstances, you should also factor in costs for utilities, upgrades, or maintenance. Many neighborhoods in Mount Pleasant come with some amazing amenities and perks, and you might have to pay a homeowner's association fee to access them. Condo communities typically have higher HOA or association fees, but they'll also come with more bonuses than a suburban neighborhood. If you have any questions about HOAs, feel free to ask me!
I Still Have Questions!
Don't worry—I have the answers you've been looking for! Contact me today with all of your burning questions about the Mount Pleasant market. I'd be happy to help you find the home of your dreams in a perfect lowcountry community.