Charelston, SC is often described as an urban place that is still historic and close to nature. If you currently rent in Charelston or you are considering relocation, now may be the time to play with the idea of buying a home. With low interest rates and the housing inventory on the rise, it’s a great time to buy a home. Unfortunately, when buying conditions are right, may people rush into buying property and make some of the common mistakes that all home buyers, new and experienced, must avoid. If you want to make an educated and planned purchase, here are 5 common mistakes you should always try to avoid:
1. Don’t Buy If You Will Relocate In the Near Future
You may fall in love with the peninsula that is called Charelston, but that does not mean that you are ready to be a Charleston homeowner. If you plan on staying in the same area for at least 3 to 5 years, you may get enough equity into the home to sell without any hassles, but an emergency sale will always lead to lost money. Consider your plans for the future, and keep these possibilities in mind.
What You Can Do: If there is a chance that you will need to move to a new city or state, it is best to sign a lease and avoid the long-term commitment that is involved in owning a home. If you find a home at the right price and you are located in the center of an area where rentals are high in demand, this could be an option in scenarios where you must relocate quickly. Be practical, and do not buy if you like to migrate.
2. Don’t Forget to Find Out How Much You Can Afford
You might be budgeting and using online mortgage calculators to find out how much property you can afford (based on your income and your comfort level), but the amount you settle with is not necessarily the amount that the mortgage companies will settle with. If you are financing your home, the mortgage company will ultimately have a say in affordability by setting a lending limit.
What You Can Do: Get a pre-approval from a reputable mortgage company so that you know the upper limits that you can receive before you start viewing homes outside of your price range.
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3. Don’t Assume That the Mortgage is the Only Cost
Home ownership comes with its costs, and you need to know these costs before you take on the financial responsibility. In the short term, it is cheaper to rent, but as the equity builds and you earn capital gains, home ownership is better financially long term. You must consider maintenance costs, utility costs, property taxes, and insurance costs, and which of these will be in the mortgage payment.
What You Can Do: You can start pricing some of the costs before you even buy. Contact a Charelston home insurance agent and discuss quotes based on your price range. You can also contact the Charelston assessor’s office and determine how much you can expect taxes to cost you for the current year.
4. Don’t Mistake an Appraisal for an Inspection
Once you find that perfect home nestled in the middle of nature, the next step is negotiating a price. You may make your offer based on the fact that the home is free of defects, but offers are always contingent for your protection. A mortgage company may require an appraisal, but always get an inspection as well. Appraisals only assess value, and inspections check the condition of the property. You can avoid major disasters or negotiate the price down if anything is discovered.
What You Can Do: When you are working with us, ask for recommendations so that you can set an appointment with a well-known inspector. If you do discover problems, renegotiate or walk away.
5. Avoid the Urge to Start New
When you buy a new home, it is only common to want to dress the house with new things. If you want to refresh your life, try to hold back from financing new furniture, appliances, or a new car. You have a new home to worry about, and you can create a list and prioritize what you need.
What You Can Do: Buy new furniture with cash or look for discounted pieces. Once you move in, you can find out what all is really important and save.
Buying a Home in Charleston, SC
If you are ready to own a home in this coastal city, consider whether or not you can avoid making the above mistakes. If you can, it might be time to enter the world of home ownership in a place where there is a lot of beauty and a lot of culture.