Thursday, February 5, 2015

Should You Sell Your Charleston Home Before You Buy—or Wait?

Should You Sell Your Charleston Home Before You Buy—or Wait?

If you are a current homeowner that wants to purchase a new home in Charleston, you're most likely asking yourself a question common to folks in your situation: Should I sell before I buy?
The answer to that question depends on several factors.

Your Personality

Just the thought of having two mortgage payments—even for a short period of time—can cause massive anxiety for some people. Even if your lender has assured you of a simultaneous close on the two homes, uncertainty may linger.
Then, there is the pressure to accept an unattractive offer just to ensure that the home sells in time. If you wait to buy, you'll have the luxury of being able to negotiate offers as they come in.
If you crave certainty, you should probably wait until the current home sells to take on the purchase process.
There are, however, those who deal with uncertainty better than others. If that describes you, then starting the purchase process before you sell your current home probably won't faze you.

Your Finances

Regardless of your personality, if you just don't have the money to support two mortgage payments at the same time, then you have no choice but to sell your home before you purchase another.
Further, if you need the proceeds from the sale of your current home to use to buy a new home, you'll need to wait until after you sell, or attempt a simultaneous close. (We explain that process below.)

The Market (Charleston is seller's market)

A seller's market is the ideal situation when you're selling your current home, but it can be difficult if you hope to purchase at the same time. In a seller's market—where there are few homes available and lots of buyers competing for them—sellers are in the driver's seat. With multiple offers coming in, homeowners are not likely to accept an offer that is contingent upon another home selling.
On the flip side, in a hot seller's market, homes that are in good condition and are located in decent areas will sell quickly.  If your house is among them, you take on little risk if you wish to purchase a new home before selling your current one.  Being aggressive and responsive with you offer is key.  That way you are not out bid for your new Charleston area home.
Ascertain if the current market caters to sellers or buyers before making the decision of whether to buy before your house sells. Your real estate agent, Michael Johnson Homes is your best source for this information.

Achieving the Simultaneous Close

Selling one home while purchasing another can be a bit of a balancing act. If you try to time the closings to occur during the same period, you run the risk of ending up with two house payments at once.
If you allow too much time between closings, on the other hand, you may find yourself renting a temporary home and, thus, moving twice.  I have helped those arrange for short-term housing arrangement for past clients.  Move you things once find temporary housing on any budget.
The ideal situation is to plan for a simultaneous closing, where both transactions occur on the same day. However, this process comes with risks, too. If anything should go wrong on the first transaction you could end up not being able to close on the second.
For the simultaneous closing process to go smoothly, it's important to choose the right buyers for your current home. How much do you know about their finances? How firm is their offer? What do you know about their motivation to purchase? How badly do they want the home?  Pre-qualification of prospective buyers is important.   Making sure they are pre-approve for a home mortgage or verify funds available is just one of the services I provide.
Since the process is a bit like a string of dominoes, and the buyer of your home is the lead domino, it's crucial to choose a buyer you know will consummate the deal.
The key to success is hiring an experienced, professional real estate agent like Michael Johnson. Your agent can guide you through the process and steer the transaction to keep it on course.

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Search Charleston Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes. DISTRESSED REAL ESTATE

CONSIDERING TO SELL YOUR CHARLESTON HOME OR CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?  GET YOUR NO OBLIGATION AND FREE ONLINE HOME MARKET EVALUATION ESTIMATE.  BASED OFF TAX RECORDS OF HOMES THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD IN YOUR AREA.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE A MORE PRECISE MARKET ANALYSIS OF YOUR HOME WE CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.  CALL OR EMAIL ME TODAY.  CONTACT INFO

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What Counts as a Comp for Your Charleston Home?

What Counts as a Comp for Your Charleston Home?

From replacing a rusted out bathroom sink to laying laminate flooring, Americans are hooked on the DIY craze. Some things, however, are better left to professionals. Establishing your home's current market value before putting it on the selling block or pursuing a refinance is one of those things.
To determine its value, appraisers and real estate agents will compare your home (the "subject property") to those that have recently sold in the area (known as "comps"). They will adjust the comps' prices up or down, according to how similar each home is to yours.
Read on to learn how a home qualifies as a comp for yours.

Status

The market value of a home is, simply, what a knowledgeable and willing buyer will pay for it. This figure is reflected in the sales price of recently sold Charleston area homes.
Appraisers and real estate agents use the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database in their research, to look for homes that have sold within the past six months. Only real estate licensees that pay an MLS membership fee will have access to this database, so a DIY consumer will find it challenging to locate a full and accurate list of sold properties.

Location

Since location is one of the principal indicators of property value, appraisers and real estate agents seek sold homes that are in close proximity to the subject property. Some lenders give strict location requirements to appraisers, for example a comp in an urban or suburban area must be no more than one mile away, and rural comps no more than five miles away.
Real estate agents, on the other hand, have a little more leeway and will typically begin their research close to the subject property and then widen the area until they've found three comparable properties that have sold in the past six months.
Neighborhood characteristics that influence a home's value include:
Nearby parks
Proximity to shopping
Neighborhood condition
Traffic, airport or other noise
The quality of the school district
Number of distressed properties in the neighborhood
Declining values or oversupply of homes in the area
On or close to water and beaches
Proximity to downtown Charleston

Price Per Square Foot

You may see sold homes or homes for sale that list the price per square foot in addition to the price of the home. This figure takes into account only the home's square footage and nothing else. Because it fails to account for the diverse aspects and special features of the house, it isn't an accurate reflection of value.
That said, with all other aspects being equal, a larger home will most likely sell for more than a smaller home.

Condition

Deferred maintenance will drag down the value of a home. Deferred maintenance includes all of the items you have been meaning to fix, but never got around to. Examples include:
Leaky faucets
Cracked windows
Loose or missing hand rails
Structural damage
Overgrown landscaping
Dirty or damaged carpets or other flooring

The Process

Since it is unlikely that your agent or an appraiser will find a home that's identical to yours, he or she will need to make adjustments to the sold prices of the comps to account for the differences.
If the comparable home is inferior to the subject property, value is added to bring it up to par. Conversely, if the comparable is superior to the subject, value is removed.
Here's an example of how this works:
The subject property has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool. The comparable property, located three blocks from the subject, sold three weeks ago for $387,500.
The comparable property has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, but it doesn't have a pool.
The appraiser or agent will deduct value from the comparable for the lack of a pool and add value for the extra half bathroom. The amount to deduct or add depends on the value the local market places on items such as a pool or a half bathroom.
The adjusted price range of the comp will reflect the current market value of the subject property.
Determining a home's market value isn't rocket science, but it does require current, accurate information and some experience with the process. A professional real estate agent will not only determine the current market value, but will also give you tips on how to get top dollar for the home.

Thank you for reading my blog.  If you liked it, please feel free to "share" and follow.

Search Charleston Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes. DISTRESSED REAL ESTATE

CONSIDERING TO SELL YOUR CHARLESTON HOME OR CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?  GET YOUR NO OBLIGATION AND FREE ONLINE HOME MARKET EVALUATION ESTIMATE.  BASED OFF TAX RECORDS OF HOMES THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD IN YOUR AREA.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE A MORE PRECISE MARKET ANALYSIS OF YOUR HOME WE CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.  CALL OR EMAIL ME TODAY.  CONTACT INFO

For more Tips Click HERE

 SEARCH CHARLESTON & MT PLEASANT HOMES HERE 

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Buyers Beware: 3 Points to Ponder About a Home's Location When Buying In Charleston

Buyers Beware: 3 Points to Ponder About a Home's Location When Buying in Charleston

When buyers are on the hunt for their new Charleston home, they're usually very focused on one thing: the house. Buyers can lose objectivity if they fall in love with one, and the thought process becomes akin to one of those romantic photos with fuzzy edges—the only thing in focus is the house.
What those fuzzy edges obscure, however, is just as important as what's in focus. So, be sure to identify the impractical features of a home you love—not only for your own comfort and enjoyment, but for the home's future value as well.
"Location, location, location" isn't just a silly real estate mantra—it's a warning. Pay heed to the neighborhood and surroundings if you want to avoid losing money when you sell the home.

1. School District

Not everyone can afford the higher cost of homes in a quality school district, but we can avoid purchasing a home in a district that will make it difficult to sell in the future. Even homebuyers without children should look into the area's schools before signing on the dotted line.
For homebuyers with children, good schools are at the top of the list, according to Realtor.com, and many are willing to go over budget to purchase such a home.
Experts agree that homes are worth more in good school districts. What they can't seem to agree on, however, is how much more. One study claims that the added value is $16,000 on average. Another study, from the Brookings Institute, says homes in quality school districts may fetch up to $205,000 more than those in a low-scoring district. Finally, another expert says to simply slap a 23 percent premiumonto a home in a good school district.
Whatever the amount, savvy buyers know that an area's schools will have an impact on a home's future value.
Search Local School Districts and Rating for Greater Charleston Area Including, Mt Pleasant, Summerville, North Charleston, Daniel Island, James Island, etc... SCHOOL INFORMATION 

2. Vacant Land

Being surrounded by open space is lovely, isn't it? The peace, tranquil views and that feeling of seclusion one derives from living in such a location is worth paying more for—or is it?
Nearby government set-asides of open space are in demand for homebuyers. Privately owned vacant parcels, however, should raise red flags.
Even current zoning of parcels isn't set in stone, as neighbors in a Minneapolis suburb learned last year. Most homeowners in a 25-year old subdivision there purchased their homes because the area was surrounded by open space. What they failed to realize, however, was that the surrounding parcels were zoned for commercial development. In fact, many of the newer homeowners were shocked when they learned of the city's plans to approve the construction of a 24-hour superstore right across the street. Their lovely, wooded neighborhood would now be expected to handle three times the vehicular traffic, round-the-clock hustle and bustle, and late-night deliveries to the back of the store, which happens to face the neighborhood.
Before you decide to purchase any home that has vacant parcels of land nearby, it would be wise to check the neighboring property's zoning.
Map Search for Your New Charleston Home.  SEARCH HOMES

3. Neighboring Homes

It's easy to become smitten with the cutest house on the block, but if that house is the only cute one in the neighborhood, you may want to consider your purchase more carefully.
Foreclosed homes, certain commercial concerns (funeral homes and power plants, for example), messy, neglected yards, and a sex offender in the area can all drag down the value of nearby property, according to the Appraisal Institute. That reduction may be as much as 15 percent.
Experts with the Appraisal Institute suggest taking a leisurely tour of the neighborhood. Something as simple as shoddy landscaping or peeling paint on a building can knock 5 to 10 percent off the value of nearby homes, the Appraisal Institute's president, Joe Magdziarz, told MSN Money.
Folks in the real estate industry are quite diligent when it comes to recommending various inspections and tests of structural elements to buyers. Many agents, however, may neglect to counsel their clients on the financial aspects of the purchase.
Your home is also an investment and requires due diligence to ensure that it's a viable one. Do your homework, beyond admiring the snazzy kitchen and dreamy master bedroom, and you'll sleep well knowing you made an informed investment.
Search Charleston Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes. DISTRESSED REAL ESTATE

CONSIDERING TO SELL YOUR CHARLESTON HOME OR CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?  GET YOUR NO OBLIGATION AND FREE ONLINE HOME MARKET EVALUATION ESTIMATE.  BASED OFF TAX RECORDS OF HOMES THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD IN YOUR AREA.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A MORE PRECISE MARKET ANALYSIS OF YOUR HOME WE CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.  CAll or Email me Today.  CONTACT INFO

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 Easy Improvements to Help You Sell Your Charleston Home

3 Easy Improvements to Help You Sell Your Charleston Home

Forget, for a moment, about market trends and interest rates. At any given time, no matter the state of the economy, someone somewhere is selling their Charleston home. In any market, homeowners can up the odds that a home sells as quickly and as profitably as possible by giving it a facelift.
Sellers should focus on home improvement projects that either add value to the home or that attract buyers' eyes and pique their interests. Make them forget any other houses they viewed and want your house instead.
Don't randomly select home improvement projects based on your own tastes or suggestions from friends, either. You won't be the one living in the home, after all. Research houses in your community and compare features and appraisals to get a better idea what people in your area want. A swimming pool may be a popular upgrade in a Southern suburb filled with young couples and families, for instance. But in the North, a hot tub will have greater appeal. A community with older people, no matter where in the country, will probably value a car port or garage over a pool or spa.
Here are three home-improvement project categories that almost anyone can tackle without a large capital investment.

1.Boost Your Curb Appeal

You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression. When potential buyers drive up to your Charleston home, if they don't like what they see immediately, they may not get past the exterior to find the great things inside.
It's not about planting expensive trees, installing fountains or other fancy upgrades. In fact, some of the most value-added outdoor home-improvement projects cost little to nothing, except for your time. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) suggests some of the following property improvements:
Get out your pruning shears: If your home is on the market, keeping the lawn mowed is a given. Keeping plants and flowers watered is also essential. Pruning trees, shrubs and other greenery is more easily overlooked, but it is one of those touches that will make your home stand out. Follow a pruning guide, like the one provided by Better Homes and Gardens, to get the most out of your efforts.
Dig into some mulch: Mulching is another often overlooked landscaping project with a tremendous impact. It helps conserve moisture, protects roots, discourages weeds, and other benefits. You can choose between all-natural mulches and decorative mulches, such as stone. You can even use compost that you create yourself or mown grass and fallen leaves.
Show off your green thumb: Purchase outdoor containers that complement your home's style and plant something unusual or interesting, NAR suggests. Place plants on the patio or around the home's entrance to immediately create a more appealing exterior. Plant bright flowers and foliage to provide a splash of color.
Clean up your home's exterior: Spend a weekend cleaning your gutters, windows and especially your siding, among other exterior items. Rent or purchase a power washer for a very affordable price to really make your home shine.

2. Add a Coat of Paint

Like a wash and wax for your car, a new coat of paint makes anything look better and brighter. To improve your home's value and attract buyers, consider a fresh paint job, inside and out.
The "safe" advice is to choose neutral colors, such as beige and off-white, and to avoid vibrant or gender-specific hues such as orange, purple or red. However, safe isn't always the best bet, argues real estate agent Todd Kroepel. "Keeping a home vanilla so that buyers can choose their own style and d├ęcor … ignores the fact that most buyers lack the ability to visualize the home differently," he cautions. Don't be afraid to add splashes of color and a touch of texture—it can be good to leave a dash of style evident.
Consider painting an accent wall in your living room with a contrasting color, or add some texturizing product instead. Adding hand-painted borders in the bathroom, by using stencils that run vertically or horizontally, is another classy touch.
Before painting, outside or in, ensure that the surface is clean and properly prepared. Use a primer to cover previously unfinished areas or bare wood, to better cover over dark or bold colors, or to block out stains. Inside your home, sand surfaces slightly if you don't use a primer, to help paint adhesion.

3. Update the Kitchen or Bathroom

Everyone appreciates a well-put-together and comfortable bathroom or kitchen. Renovations to these two rooms usually generate buyer interest and offer a high rate of return on investment when it comes time to sell.
Updates don't always require a large expenditure and a messy, lengthy remodeling period either. Some of the simplest things can change the entire feel of the room. Do as much, or as little, as you choose—just don't get too attached to the results.
Replace sink and bathtub fixtures: Switch out generic faucets and handles for newer, better-quality hardware. Think about using brass for a startling contrast, or select a style completely different from the current one.
Install a new sink: As long as you're replacing faucets and such, why not replace the bathroom or kitchen sink as well?
Refinish the cabinets: Solid wood responds well to sanding and refinishing with stain and a polyurethane top coat, or even paint. Newer cabinets often require refacing with veneer instead. Veneer kits make the job fairly simple: Adhere the material to the cabinet box (the portion left after removing doors and drawers) and then purchase new drawer fronts and cabinet doors to complete the makeover.
Upgrade your countertops: Replace laminate with stone, tile or even a concrete countertop. If you have old ceramic tile, clean or regrout to refresh the look.
Add lighting and accessories: Think in layers when it comes to lighting. Adding accent lights or task lights in any room of the house makes it more visually appealing. Other little touches include changing door knobs, light switch and outlet covers, or installing ceiling fans or a medicine cabinet. Consider swapping old light switches with dimmer switches or energy-saving, programmable lighting controls.
Highlight energy-savers: Speaking of saving energy, programmable thermostats, upgraded insulation and proper weatherproofing are music to many home buyers' ears.
While you can hire professionals to do the work for you, rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself will increase the amount you recoup when you sell your home. Each project will increase the value of your property, no matter where you live, and help you sell your home faster.

Services offered to you:
Need Ideas or recommendation on your Charleston home improvement projects?  I would suggest seeing the home as if you were a home buyer.  Try this, drive up to your home and take a look at the outside, then walk around your homes exterior, then enter your home from the front door and walk through your home room-by-room.  Make a list of everything that you like that would be good selling features.  Also note anything you see that needs attention or could be improved.
As part of my service I do this for my clients.  Take a thorough look at your home from a buyers perspective and make a plan on getting your home ready to sale.  Not all homes need work and many just need a good cleaning and touch up.

CONSIDERING TO SELL YOUR CHARLESTON HOME OR CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?  GET YOUR NO OBLIGATION AND FREE ONLINE HOME MARKET EVALUATION ESTIMATE.  BASED OFF TAX RECORDS OF HOMES THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD IN YOUR AREA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE A MORE PRECISE MARKET ANALYSIS OF YOUR HOME WE CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.  CONTACT INFO

For more Tips Click HERE

 SEARCH CHARLESTON & MT PLEASANT HOMES HERE 

YOUR FREE CHARLESTON OR MT PLEASANT HOME EVALUATION HERE 

CHARLESTON & MT PLEASANT HOUSING MARKET CONDITIONS HERE