The Buying Process
Your Dream Home Awaits
From helping you get familiar with the local area, to finding the perfect property, negotiating the best deal, and getting you to the closing table, I’ll be there to assist with everything involved in buying a new property.
With my extensive local network, I can introduce you to high quality mortgage lenders, home inspectors, contractors, and just about any other vendors you might need to engage with for your purchase.
Because I know that you'll want to enjoy as much of the Lowcountry Life as possible, I will share everything from how to navigate your commute (especially when there are accidents on the bridges), to the restaurants locals love, to where to find the best parking spots for visiting the beach, and everything between!
Your dream home is waiting and I am excited to help you find it!
Check out the topics below for some of my tips about the home buying process & let's connect when you're ready!
The first step in researching how to buy a house is to check your credit report. Your credit score is important as it influences whether you qualify for a loan, the type of loan, and what interest rate you’ll receive.
After you know you’ve checked your credit report, the next step is to determine your budget. The fastest way to get a sense of how much you can afford is with an online mortgage calculator. A mortgage calculator will estimate your mortgage payment, including the principal and interest, taxes, insurance, home owner association (HOA) fees and private mortgage insurance (PMI). Another important cost to factor into your budget is closing costs, which are typically 2%-5% of the purchase price.
When preparing to buy a house, you will want to get pre-approved for the financing you will need. This will initiate the mortgage process with a lender and inform you how much you are eligible to borrow. It also allows you to move faster when you’re ready to make an offer. It can be beneficial to get quotes from multiple lenders, rather than choosing the first mortgage lender you speak to, or even your current bank. Different lenders offer different mortgage options and rates, so research is key. I have several lenders that many of my clients have used to obtain highly competitive rates, and will be happy to provide you with their names and contact details.
Once you determine your priority features for a new home (location, amenities, floor plan, etc.), I will make note of the priorities and help you find properties that meet as many as possible within your price range. If it's impossible to find a house that "has it all" within your budget, I will suggest ideas for compromises that will allow you to keep as many of those priority features as possible.
As a long time resident,
I will happily provide you with a local's insights into what makes each Lowcountry community unique, as well as pros and cons of each area.
Selecting a skilled and experienced real estate agent is one of the most important decisions you'll make when buying or selling a home. If you haven't visited my About page yet, it includes guidance on selecting an agent, and why you should feel very confident if you elect to have me represent you as your agent!
Hiring an Agent
As your agent, I will spend time learning about the most important features you would like to have in your new home, which community is most desirable to you, and any other criteria that will help us identify the best home(s) to meet your needs.
Homes For Sale
Once you’ve found the house you’re looking for, it’s time to make an offer. There are many components that go into making a strong offer that will stand out to sellers. I will work with you to develop an offer that considers your budget, comparables of other homes in the area, the market conditions, and the home's features. By using multiple data points and my extensive experience, we will craft an offer that poises yours to be selected when there are competitive situations.
Making an Offer
When buying a house, you may receive a counter-offer and need to negotiate with the seller. Negotiating on behalf of my clients is one of my favorite things to do! I will help guide you through the process and provide my professional expertise on the available options to maintain the best deal possible, and ultimately, still get you to the closing table.
One of the most important steps to buying a house is having the home inspected by a professional home inspector. They will conduct a thorough inspection of the home’s condition and test the operational status of all major systems – plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. They will also check the roof, the foundation, and the home’s exterior. If the inspection report indicates any major issues with the home, I will negotiate for repairs or a lower price with the seller. Additionally, I have several detail-oriented home inspectors that I can refer you to.
A home appraisal measures the home's value to make sure you and your lender are not paying more than what the home is worth. In South Carolina, if a mortgage lender is ordering the home appraisal, the buyer pays for the appraisal. If the home "doesn't appraise" to the value the seller is asking for, we can work together to strategize the best path forward for you, based on your desire to continue with the home purchase, or not.
Closing is the final step to buying a house. On the closing date, money will be exchanged and the home's title is put in your name. A real estate attorney will close the transaction and you will receive the keys to your new home. Sometimes things come up with the title, or financing, that can cause a delay in the closing. As your real estate agent, I will stay on top of the closing preparation process and advise you on things to do (and not do) to ensure that everything is ready for an on-time closing.
Depending on if your house is turnkey ready or not, there might be some renovations or painting that you want to complete before moving in. I have an extensive list of trusted contractors and handypersons that I can share to help ensure that you get your project(s) done right!
You’ll want to think about how you will move your belongings to your new home. Will you do it yourself, or hire professional movers? I can advise you on the companies my clients have had great experiences with. If you are moving yourself, I can share the types and sizes of boxes that will make your move as easy as possible.
You’ll want to think about whether you'll need to buy new furniture and/or appliances, as well as setting up your utilities, etc. You’ll pay for these after the house is yours, but may want to factor them into your expenses, or create a separate post-move budget.