Homes For Sale In Charleston South Carolina: Buyer Expectations
If you are shopping for homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina, there is good news and bad news.
It is important to know what is going on in the current market so you can be prepared.
This will help you be an educated buyer, and will help you avoid potential pitfalls.
An educated buyer is a smart buyer, and this information will help make the home buying process less stressful on you.
Right now, the Charleston SC real estate market is a hot market. We are in what is known as a sellers market.
As you can probably guess, market conditions favor sellers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a great house at a great price.
Home values have been on the increase over the last year, and have shot up so far in 2015.
In fact, May saw the highest Average Sales Price for homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina since June 2007:
Homes are also selling faster:
Part of the reason behind this has been the lack of enough homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina.
There simply hasn’t been enough homes to meet the demand.
This has resulted in prices accelerating. It also leads to multiple offer situations–multiple buyers make an offer on the same home.
This can lead to a bidding war, and in the end, only one buyer can buy the house.
For buyers that have been through this (and lost out on the house), this can be frustrating.
Some buyers have been through this more than once, and still don’t have a home to show for it.
So, what can you do about it? There are only a few things you can control.
First, if you see a home you really like, then you need to make a quick decision and make an offer as soon as you can.
Your agent can find out if there have been recent showings, and see if any other buyer has interest.
They can also find out if the list agent has any potential offers coming in, or already has one.
It is not unusual to see a house, write up a contract immediately after, only to find out that an offer came in while you were still looking at the house.
If you do find that you are in a bidding war, keep in mind that the highest offer doesn’t necessarily win.
Try to find out why the sellers are selling and see if you can’t give them what they want.
Perhaps they need a quicker closing. Maybe they don’t want a contract with a contingency for the buyer to sell a house first.
Sometimes, a cleaner contract (one that doesn’t have many or any contingencies) will appeal more to a seller than a higher offer with contingencies.
The highest contract isn’t necessarily the best contract for the sellers.
Homes For Sale In Charleston South Carolina: Good News
An important first step of the home buying process is getting a mortgage pre approval. This lets you know how much home you qualify for and what your monthly payment will be.
If there are any credit issues that keep you from qualifying, then a mortgage loan officer can show you the steps that will lead you to qualifying the quickest.
If your credit allows you to qualify, there may be some things you can do to improve your credit and qualify for a lower interest rate.
Doing this first gives you time to get all of your ducks in a row before you buy a home.
Plus, when you make an offer, the seller will require a pre approval letter.
Without this, they won’t even consider your offer. If you wait until making an offer, you could lose the house to someone that already has pre approval.
There is good news on the mortgage front for buyers. First, interest rates are still near their historical lows.
They have crept up recently to about 4%, but compared over time that is still a very low interest rate.
Recently, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they were reducing their minimum required down payment, from 3.5% to 3%. That’s right, you can buy a home for only 3% down!
They also have reduced their Mortgage Insurance rates. This is attached to FHA loans to offer the lender protection, and is required if you put down less than 20%.
This is calculated into your monthly payment. So, this reduction will impact you directly by reducing your monthly mortgage payment.
After the real estate market crash and mortgage meltdown, lenders made it much tougher to get a mortgage.
Over the last year they have been loosening their guidelines, and getting a mortgage is much easier today than it has been.
Despite it being a sellers market, there are many favorable factors that make right now the right time for buying homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina.
Of course, there are also some negative factors that make right now a great time to buy.
First, homes aren’t getting any cheaper. Second, we are entering the traditional selling season in Charleston.
If you look at any metric for Charleston SC real estate, those numbers tend to peak in Summer.
Home sales peak, home prices peak, and homes sell faster.
Another thing working against first time home buyers is the rental market. Housing Starts numbers are at their highest in 10 years.
This number represents people moving out of roommate situations and getting a place of their own. It also represents kids moving out of their parents homes into their own place.
While some of the numbers represent people that bought a house, much of it consists of renters. And these renters are now one step away from buying a home.
The bad news for renters is the rental market is also very hot. Rents continue to skyrocket, and you can bet that rents will continue to go up, not down.
Rental availability is also at a 21 year low. Just finding a place to rent can be difficult, let alone a place that is perfect.
If you have tried to find a rental in the last year, then you probably have a good idea of what it feels like to try and find a home to purchase.
Overall, now is a good time to buy homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina.
Although it is a sellers market, there is no need to feel discouraged. Just be aware of what is going on so that you can shop smarter.
Take solace in knowing that you will be purchasing an appreciating asset that will continue to increase in value as time goes on.
This will allow you to build wealth, as you will have increasing home values working for you, and not against you.
Best of all, you will be buying that asset at close to historical low rates.
Remember, whether you buy or rent, you are paying someone’s mortgage. Why not pay your own?
If you are looking at buying homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina, it is important that you choose the right agent to represent you.
The sellers have an agent representing them, and you should too! Best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything.
Visit my Pam Marshall Realtor website and you can search the Charleston MLS, download buyer guides, watch some helpful home buying videos, and you can also have a list of homes that match your exact search criteria emailed to you.
You won’t have to spend hours searching on the internet at incomplete or outdated listings.
Plus, your list will be updated with the latest and best listings.
My Pam Marshall Realtor website is your one stop shop for buying homes for sale in Charleston South Carolina.