Buyers

Buying a Home
Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing your dwelling place, and the place in which you will bring up your family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, we're only a phone call or email away! 

Things to Consider

Below is a brief list of things you will want to consider whan purchasing a home.  I will be able to navigate you through the process and make it easier, and guide you to professionals for each step that we need to take.

Standard Home Inspection
The areas which may be covered include lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Contract For Sale and are often done as part of the due diligence clause of a contract.

Termite Inspection
A termite inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Only VA loans require them but in SC they are always recommended.

Lead Paint Inspection
Painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.

Flood Zone Determination

Many areas here in the Lowcountry are in designated flood areas meaning there is a 1% or more for a chance of flooding each year.  Depending on the design of the home and its location and elevation flood insurance will be required by the lender. That cost will be part of the monthly payment you will need to make towards the mortgage as part of your escrow.  This can affect buying power and may influence your willingness to purcahse in certain areas.

Condo/Townhome purchases

These properties can be especially difficult to purchase with a VA or FHA loan.  The low price range often attracts first time home buyers because of their limited finances, but if you are using government backed loan you need to educate yourself.  Very few of the condos in the tri-county area are qualified for these loans.  You may find yourself needing a 10% down payment or if you are selling you may end up losing a contract or 2 because of financing falling through.

HOA or Regimes

You need to find out if the area you are looking in has homeowner associations or regimes.  Regimes are usually associated with attached housing like condo or townhomes, but may be in other areas as well like 55+ communities.  If there are fees associated with your property these need to be calculated and considered before making an offer

Covenants and Restriction

This is very important for new construction or planned communities.  Many areas have rules in place that can affect your enjoyment and use fo a property.  Some areas don't allow for boats, trailers or RV's to be outside of the property.  There may be restrictions on fencing or even what colors you can paint the outside.  Most have restrictions on items like having livestock (yes people will raise chickens in Charleston), amount of vehicles you can have, or even street parking.  Know these before you buy.  If you have a boat especially understand what is expected because many of the associations have ways to enforce their rules.