If you’re like most people, the beginning of a fresh, new year invites excited expectations of great things to come. Health wins, career advancements, and for many, new home purchases. 2020 is no different, and we’re happy to report that buyers are still enjoying an abundant market—with low interest rates to boot—and our Charleston real estate market is no different.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or looking to purchase your next home, here are our top tips for navigating the home buying process in 2020.
- Be Prepared to Move Fast
Sure you want to buy a home, but are you actually prepared to buy a home? In a hot market like Charleston’s, it’s important to be ready to put in a qualified offer the moment you’ve found the one. To do so you must have your documents and financials in order; this includes a healthy credit score, and if possible, secured financing. This is all especially important if you have your eye on a move-in ready home.
- Understand All Associated Costs of Homeownership
While homeownership is more achievable than many people initially believe, there are associated costs that are typically overlooked. Bankrate.com hits the nail on the head with this one, “When budgeting for the monthly payments, factor in not only the principal amount and interest, but also property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowners association fees and (if putting down less than 20 percent) private mortgage insurance. Don’t forget to set aside money for ongoing maintenance and those unexpected repairs that are bound to pop up.” To fully understand your financial investment, it’s important to realize that in addition to your mortgage, you’ll also be responsible for: Property Insurance, Property Taxes, Utilities (No landlords anymore!), and HOA Fees If Applicable.
- Think Ahead
Your home may be the place you reside for the next 20 years—or the next 2—and as such, it’s always smart to think ahead. Except this time, you’ll be the seller. The good news is you have a fresh perspective about what selling points truly stand out for this home. Is it the front porch? Spacious kitchen? Open concept layout? Just remember that what may have been the thing to seal the deal for you, may NOT be the same for your one-day buyer.
- Purchase Within Your Budget
It’s easy to get swept up in online “window shopping” with platforms such as Zillow, Trulia, Redin, and more, but don’t let your daydreams confuse your budget realities. Instead, work with your mortgage company to define a well-cushioned budget that you can safely obtain financing in without setting you in debt. Then, commit to only looking for and at homes that fit that criteria. Homeownership is a beautiful thing—but not when it sets you up for financial failure. Sticking to your budget will avoid those setbacks while still providing you with a gorgeous house to call home.
- Consider Your Dream Community—Now and In the Future
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, it’s all about “location, location, location!” And for good reason. When choosing a community to live in, take into consideration your commute, the school systems, and the distance to dining, attractions, and vital services, such as hospitals. While you should love the neighborhood you live in presently, you should also consider how the neighborhood or community you’re investing in will support your future needs. Luckily, Saussy Burbank homes in Nexton are enviably close to everything Summerville and Charleston have to offer.
Armed with the information above, you’re more prepared than ever before to begin your home-buying journey in Charleston. If 2020 feels like the year for you, don’t hesitate to begin getting your ducks in a row, and considering what characteristics fall onto your new home checklist. Contact us today to find out which of our communities are a fit for your family!