In my last post I shared the most recent market results the three largest towns for Lexington County. It showed that in Chapin especially, home sales are up over prior year and so are home prices. With that in mind, here are 5 essential tips for buying a home and making the process go as smoothly as possible.
Get your finances in order. Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. I can refer you to someone who excels at helping clients do just this.
Find a house you can afford. As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc. Here is a calculator you can use.
Hire a professional. While the Internet gives you access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. Plus the accuracy of some web data is suspect. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. Plus, you DON”T pay commission to the agent, the selling agents broker does that!! In the course of my real estate career I’ve been involved in over 800 transactions and can assist you through all the steps of the process.
Do your homework. Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.
Think long term. You shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.
Mortgage rates can’t get much lower so if you are thinking of buying a home, carped diem! There is no time like the present.
Chapin, SC is known as "The Capital of Lake Murray" and with good reason. The residents of Chapin enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with the convenience of the city. Columbia, SC is just a quick 20 minute drive and shopping is even closer.You are embarking on an exciting journey, be sure that you find agents that will take time and share your enthusiasm during this process.
EXIT Midlands Realty is a full service real estate firm dedicated to assisting our clients with the purchase and sale of real estate in the Greater Columbia Area. We were founded in 2005 and quickly grew into one of the most innovative and knowledgeable firms in and around Columbia. Our staff is made up of full time professional agents that are dedicated to the profession of listing and selling real estate.
Call one of our experienced agents to assist you with your real estate needs. It would be an honor to work with you.
In tough times, most people are looking to cut costs any way they can.
"Sarah you have been the best real estate professional we have ever had and we had quiet a few of them.....You are one of the best we know and if we ever need anyone, it will be you...THANK you for all that you have done for us. "