How to Prepare for a Real Estate Home Inspection

If you are thinking about selling your Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, or Beaufort home, The Dufrene Group can help! Our team of experienced Realtors is here to assist you with selling your home quickly, for the most money…and with no stress to you at all!

From listing your Hilton Head Island home and taking photos for advertising purposes, to staging ideas, and helping you understand all of the technical lingo involved in the selling and closing of a home, the Dufrene Team is on your side from beginning to end!

Here are some tips for sellers to help you prepare your house for the home inspection the buyer will request prior to closing:   

Preparing for a Real Estate Home Inspection

Offer Access to the Home – Be prepared to allow the home inspector access as needed to perform the necessary assessment of the home and property. Get rid of excess clutter that may impact access in areas such as attics, basements, storage rooms, etc.

Inspect for Insects – Be sure to address any known bug, spider, or wasp problems prior to the home inspection. Seeing some of these insects is normal in the SC Low Country, but it can still be an issue for some potential buyers.   

Check for Water Leaks- Signs of water leaks or water damage are definitely on the top of the list for the home inspector. Be prepared and check for water issues near sinks and faucets, the base of toilets, bathtubs and showers. Be sure to also look at appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators as well. Check walls, ceilings, and floors for tell-tale signs of water damage such as warping, staining, and sagging.

Keep Home Cleaned and Maintained – Seeing a well-kept and maintained home sends a good message to the home inspector and keeps all red flags at bay. Things like a fresh filter in the HVAC system, functioning toilets, and replacing burned-out light bulbs indicate that the home is taken care of.

Rely on Your Bluffton Realtor – Working with an experienced Realtor not only greatly reduces your stress, but also ensures you have an experienced person on your side that knows what to expect during Bluffton and Hilton Head Island home inspections. Rely on your Bluffton Realtor to guide you through the process.

The Dufrene Group Can Help You Sell Your Home in Bluffton, Hilton Head or Beaufort

If you are ready to sell your Bluffton, Hilton Head, or Beaufort home, the Dufrene Group can help! Get your FREE, NO OBLIGATION in Depth INSTANT Home Evaluation Report now!  You can also give us a call at (843) 707-2267 or email us here! We are ready to help you sell your home and get the best price possible!

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Day Trip from Hilton Head Island: Visit Daufuskie Island, SC

Exploring the SC Low Country truly never gets old. There is just so much to see and do on Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and the surrounding areas. Whether you live here full time, have a vacation home here, or just dream of the day when you can buy a home on Hilton Head Island, you must take the time to discover and explore the area when possible. One place that you must put on your Bucket List is Daufuskie Island.

Just a short ferry ride across the Calibogue Sound from Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island is an unspoiled jewel many people never have the privilege of seeing. From its dirt roads and uncrowded beaches, to its history, hauntings, and vineyards – Daufuskie Island is not your ordinary Island.    

Those who have been have their own reasons for liking Daufuskie Island. Some love spending time on the uncrowded, pristine beaches, others like to listen to the live entertainment at Freeport Marina, while many come for the delicious Low Country food and drinks at the Old Daufuskie Crab Company. Everyone though comes to get away from hectic city life and slow down a bit.

Explore Daufuskie Island via a guided tour which takes you to all of the historic landmarks and popular sights or explore on your own with the self-guided golf cart adventure! Spend the day visiting Daufuskie Island’s historic landmarks, isolated beaches, delicious restaurants, and fun galleries filled with crafts from local artisans. Discover a whole new world on Daufuskie Island!

From the relaxing boat ride over, to the friendly locals, and Low Country ambiance, this unspoiled, undeveloped Island takes you back to a simpler time. Make it a point to take the ferry to Daufuskie Island. You will be glad you did!  

The Dufrene Group Can Help You Own a Piece of Paradise

If you want to buy a vacation home on Hilton Head Island, a full-time home in Bluffton, or make your escape and own a home on Daufuskie Island, the Dufrene Group Realtors in Bluffton can help! Check out the area homes for sale here and contact us to schedule a tour of your favorites!

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Holiday Decorating Tips for a Coastal Christmas

Happy holidays y’all! The team at the Dufrene Group is excited about celebrating another coastal Christmas here in beautiful Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, SC. If you’re like us, one of your favorite parts of the holiday season, !!besides eating!!, is decorating and making your home to make it feel festive.

If you are lucky enough to call our seaside community home, you probably already know that Hilton Head Island homes and Bluffton homes are decorated a little different for Christmas than on the mainland. We love our coastal location and take pride in celebrating that throughout the holiday season.

Here are some holiday decorating tips to add a bit of coastal flair to your holiday celebration. For those of you who are still looking for homes for sale on Hilton Head Island, we hope this will inspire you to visit a Realtor in Hilton Head Island or a Bluffton Realtor, so you can soon add a coastal flair to every holiday celebration in your new Low Country home.

Holiday Decorating Tips for a Coastal Christmas

Beachy Garland – Gather your favorite seashells, sand dollars, and starfish to create the perfect beachy garland for your Hilton Head Island home. Simply connect the items utilizing the existing holes in the shells with decorative twine for a unique coastal holiday decoration.

Seaside Ornament – Create your own seaside ornaments with a coastal scene by filling a clear glass ornament with sand, shells, and other tropical tidbits. Great for decorating your Island home or gift giving to your favorite beach bum.

Coastal Lighting – Instead of choosing the typical assorted 5-colored holiday lights, select blue and white lights instead. This new color theme adds a coastal feel to any décor and is the perfect way to showcase your Bluffton home.

Seashell Trees – Add coastal flair to any Low Country home with seashell Christmas trees. It’s so easy and they are so beautiful! Just grab cone-shaped floral foam in the size you’d like and add your favorite seashells with a hot-glue gun! It’s really that simple, yet so elegant it will dazzle your holiday guests!

The Dufrene Group Can Help You Make Every Christmas a Coastal Christmas

Are you ready to make every Christmas a coastal Christmas? The Dufrene Group can help with that! We’d love to show you homes for sale in Bluffton and homes for sale on Hilton Head Island so that you can spend every holiday with your toes in the sand! Contact us here today!

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Best FREE Things to do This Holiday Season in Hilton Head and Bluffton, SC

Holiday spending can really take a toll on our wallets, so it’s nice to know that some of the best things in life in the SC Low Country are FREE! We love living in the Hilton Head and Bluffton area and the holidays are so much better at the beach! Here are some of the amazing no-cost activities that are planned for the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton area!

Family Friendly Holiday Festivities 

  • Holiday Lights at Shelter Cove Towne CentreThru December 31 – Enjoy lights and special events at Shelter Cove throughout the season until December 31.
  • Bluffton Christmas Parade – December 1 – The Annual Town of Bluffton Christmas Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday December 1st – Rain or shine in downtown Bluffton! The parade will start at the corner of Bridge and Pritchard Streets.
  • Winter Wonderland FestivalDecember 7The Winter Wonderland Festival will be held at Shelter Cove Community Park on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 from 4-8 p.m. There will be hayrides, carnival games, petting zoo, children’s parade, Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and more!
  • Harbour Town LightsThroughout DecemberEnjoy the lights! Stroll along the Harbour and enjoy the illuminated seasonal figures with the centerpiece of the display being a towering Christmas tree. Harbour Town is the perfect place to be this holiday season with live entertainment and activities.
  • New Year’s CelebrationDecember 31Enjoy a festive New Year’s Eve golf ball drop from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse! Enjoy food, fun, entertainment and live music throughout Harbour Town, then count down the ball drop as we welcome the new year! There will be two drops: 7pm and midnight.

The team at the Dufrene Group wants to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season! We are always here to help you find the perfect vacation house, oceanside condo, or permanent home in our beautiful area! Our team can check to see if you are Santa’s “Good List” and help you get qualified for a mortgage today! Nothing says Merry Christmas like a home for the holidays!

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Go Local for Holiday Shopping in Bluffton

The holiday season is almost here and if you haven’t already, it is time to start thinking about holiday gifts for those on your list. One of the (many) perks of living in a small community like Bluffton, SC is the abundance of local stores and merchants who offer unique charm, character and…. gifts during the holiday season. Shopping at locally owned shops and restaurants is a great way to help our community thrive and get the special people in your life some wonderful Low Country gifts. As a Realtor in Bluffton, we are always looking for unique gifts for our clients, and we love supporting our local businesses!

Check out these fun stores in the Bluffton community and keep them in mind for Thanksgiving hostess gifts and Christmas gift giving!

  • Bluffton General Store Fresh cut bouquets, home accessories, decor, jewelry, gifts, candles, and local art are just a few of the many things you will find at this Bluffton store in Old Town. Everything you need for your Low Country home or office…and amazing gifts for everyone on your list!
  • The Scottish Mill Shop –  This fun shop offers a wide selection British food and products, jewelry, cashmere and wool Scottish knit sweaters, blankets and capes from Ireland and the U.K. as well as many Scottish, Tartan and Clan related items. The perfect place for a great gift or something to remind a European friend of home.
  • Markel’s –  Started in 1997 as a shop for cards, candies, and home accessories, Markel’s specializes in providing Bluffton with the best selection of holiday and seasonal gifts, as well as unique, handcrafted decorations to help celebrate any occasion. And of course, no visit to Markel’s is complete without their gorgeous handmade bows! Shopping tip – Markel’s offers free custom gift wrapping with every purchase, complete with one of their signature bows!
  • Eggs ‘N’ Tricities – A staple of Old Town Bluffton for over 25 years,  there’s a little something for everyone at this fun shop. They sell clothing for everyone from the hip, young chicks to mature hens, offer sought after jewelry everyone in Bluffton MUST have, and everything from inexpensive and fun to one-of-a-kind, statement pieces. There are some fabulous gifts at Eggs ‘N’ Tricities including art work by local artist, Margaret Golson Pearman that feature oysters, crabs and other Lowcountry-inspired subjects that are quite simply divine!

The Dufrene Group Real Estate Team in Bluffton, SC – For Home Buyers and Home Sellers

If you’d like to be a part of our wonderful community in Bluffton, SC, we’d love to have you! Contact the Dufrene Group today to see the available homes for sale in Bluffton, homes for sale on Hilton Head Island, or homes for sale in Beaufort, to find a new home in the beautiful SC Low Country.

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For Sale by Owner – The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Bluffton or Hilton Head Home By Yourself

If you are considering selling your home in Bluffton, Beaufort, or Hilton Head Island, you may have also considered forgoing a Bluffton Realtor and selling it yourself. While it may sound like a good idea to save a little bit of money on Realtor commissions, just be sure you are aware of everything you are getting in to.

Things such as paperwork, laws, and other legal requirements for homes for sale in Bluffton and homes for sale on Hilton Head Island can be quite mind boggling for those who don’t deal with it on a regular basis and can cost thousands of dollars if care is not taken. Although there can be some advantages to a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) situation, there are also risks that a seller (and buyer) should be aware of.

Pros of For Sale by Owner Homes

  • No Realtor Commission – The commission for a Bluffton Realtor is typically 4 to 6% of the sale price of the home. Those who choose to do a FSBO can keep this money to use for other things they will need for the FSBO of their home.
  • Friendly Buyer – If you are considering selling your home for sale in Bluffton to a friend or relative, a FSBO situation can help you avoid the real estate agents’ fees, so that the sellers can afford to offer the home at a lesser price to their friend or family and still make a decent profit.
  • No Stress Home Showing – Not having a real estate agent allows you to have complete control over the showing of your home and lets you work around your schedule with no stress of pressing agents with clients on a deadline.

Cons of For Sale by Owner Homes

  • Additional Costs – There are many costs that a seller may not be aware of that add up quickly. First and foremost, they need to pay a for a professional home inspection report to avoid the risk of accusations that they have not properly disclosed all the problems with the home and an expensive lawsuit that can follow. There is also the cost of advertising, landscaping, staging, and photography. Other costs include home appraisal and attorney fees, as well as services from title and escrow companies.
  • It is Stressful! – Sellers and buyers can get overwhelmed by all of the many details that are involved in the transaction of selling/buying a home. For sellers who are emotionally attached to a home, it can be especially hard to maintain a professional stance during the selling process. When you have a Bluffton Realtor involved in the negotiation, they can relieve the burden and stress of negotiation and tiresome paperwork involved.
  • Welcome to Your New Part Time Job – Selling a house is a lot of work! There is a reason why Bluffton Realtors get paid a commission. The sale of your Bluffton or Hilton Head Island home requires professionalism, dedication, and lots of time! At first it may seem easy, but when you add the demands of selling your home to your day job and demanding family schedule, it may add up to more than you can reasonably take on.

The Dufrene Group in Bluffton, SC Can Sell Your Home

The Dufrene Group is here to help you sell your Bluffton, Beaufort, or Hilton Head Island Home for the most money in the least amount of time possible. Click here for a FREE home evaluation so we can get your home listed and SOLD!

 

 

 

 

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Common Mistakes First Time Homebuyers Make When Buying Homes for Sale in Bluffton

The home buying process is not necessarily a simple one. A lot of things are dependent on each other for everything to go well. Stress levels are high and first time homebuyers are anxious.  It really can be an enjoyable experience though, if you work with the right Realtor in Bluffton. An experienced Bluffton Realtor can negotiate a great deal on your dream home and help you along the way with any tips, advice, and knowledge to make your Bluffton home purchase as smooth as possible.

Here are some of the common mistakes first time homebuyers make and advice on how to avoid them from Bluffton Realtor Anthony Dufrene of the Dufrene Group in Bluffton, SC.

Common Mistakes that First-time Homebuyers Make

  • Failing to Get the Home Inspected – Having a home inspection for a property you are considering can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future. Paying the cost of a home inspection now, which is around $350-$500, is pennies compared to potential issues the home may have such as problems with the foundation, plumbing, HVAC or electrical system.
  • Untimely Correspondence with Lender – A common mistake by first time homebuyers in Bluffton, SC is that they fail to check their e-mail or messages regularly. Since the mortgage process is very time sensitive, it is crucial to approach the approval process with urgency and promptly respond to critical loan documentation that your mortgage company has requested. Also, be on the lookout for correspondence from your real estate agent, appraiser, and inspector.
  • Choosing Not to Work with a Buyer’s Agent – Some first time homebuyers think that they either don’t need or can’t afford a buyer’s agent when looking at homes for sale in Bluffton and homes for sale on Hilton Head Island. This is not true at all! There is no charge to work with a buyer’s agent, as the seller pays the commission on the sale of the home. In addition, purchasing contracts can be filled with legal jargon that is confusing. Choose a buyer’s agent that will work hard to show you the properties in your budget and desired areas to find your favorite homes for sale in Bluffton.
  • Ignoring Loan Assistance Programs – Be sure to take advantage of the various loan programs for first-time buyers from federal, state and local resources, as there are some programs designed to develop certain rural areas. The HUD website can give you information on loan and grants offered, and veterans should also be aware of the VA program. Assistance ranges from down payment help to closing costs, if you qualify. Be sure to ask Your Bluffton Realtor for program information.

The Dufrene Group Can Help First time Homebuyers with Homes for Sale in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island

The Dufrene Group is here to help with any questions 1st time homebuyers may have about the Bluffton area, loan process, local housing market, or home loan programs that you may have. Feel free to contact the team here via email or at (843) 707-2267 today to get pre-approved for a home mortgage and start your search of Bluffton homes for sale.

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Fall Festivals on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC

September through November is a great time to be on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, SC. The weather is near perfect with daytime temperatures near 80 and temps that only dip into the 50’s at night. The mild fall and winter seasons are a few of the many reasons so many people look for homes for sale in Bluffton and homes for sale on Hilton Head Island. Many folks look for a Bluffton Realtor to show them vacation homes so that they can spend the colder seasons down South, to enjoy life with no snow shoveling, heavy coats, and freezing temperatures. Others ask their Realtor in Bluffton to show them homes on Hilton Head Island, so they can enjoy the beach and amazing weather of the SC coast all year long.

Fall is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather and fun-filled festivals in Hilton Head and Bluffton, like these popular Low Country events:

Fall Festivals on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC

  • Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival – October 13 thru Oct 21, 2018 – This popular festival is a week-long event offering a variety of activities, with locally harvested seafood, delicious Low Country cuisine, rich history, culture and art of the area and Southern hospitality found only in Bluffton, SC. Get more information here.
  • Music & Taste on the Harbour at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina – September 20, 2018 (and more) – This exciting seasonal event returns this fall on Thursdays beginning September 6th through October 18th at Neptune Statue, combining the best local bands with delicious food and drinks. Now in its 10th season, this outdoor concert series will kick-off with The Headliners and will feature a variety of bands on Thursday nights. Get more information here.
  • Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival – November 3, 2018 – Hilton Head Island’s own Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival offers the creme de la creme in automotive exhibition, racing, dining, and entertainment. Here the best, the brightest, and most passionate automotive and aeronautic dreams of yesterday, today, and tomorrow come true right before your eyes. Get more information and tickets here.
  • Crescendo – September 27 thru November 4, 2018 – Crescendo, a regional event, organized in honor of October’s National Arts and Humanities month, highlights and showcases the vast array of arts, culture and history organizations, individual artists, performers, and authors residing and working in the Hilton Head/ Bluffton area. Join the celebration and honor the importance of arts and culture in America and our local community. Learn more here.  
  • Music to Your Mouth at Palmetto Bluff – November 15 thru November 18, 2018 – The 12th Annual Music to Your Mouth is a celebration of the best and the brightest of the South’s culinarians and the delectable cuisine of our region. Family recipes passed down from each generation, fresh produce from local farms and the creative masterminds behind it all converge for a multi-day event series that is a culmination of the finest in Southern food.Learn more and buy tickets here.

Want to be a Part of the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton Community?

We would love to have you join our community and enjoy Low Country living at its finest. If you would like to see homes for sale in Bluffton or homes for sale on Hilton Head Island, the Dufrene Group can show you the available properties in your desired community and price range. Our Bluffton Realtors are here to help and would love to show you around town. Contact us here to schedule a tour!

 

 

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Some of the Best Golf Courses in the U.S. are Found in Our Own Backyard in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, SC

Millions of people visit the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, SC area each year. Some come to relax on our pristine beaches, others love the laid-back vibe and tons of family-friendly activities, and then there are the golfers! These folks know that some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the world are hidden behind area plantation gates with breathtaking ocean views and unique Low Country Live Oak and blossoming magnolia tree-lined fairways.

In fact, it is because of these world-class golf courses that many people are interested in homes for sale in Bluffton and homes for sale on Hilton Head Island. There are so many golf-oriented communities in the Low Country area, that living on or near your favorite course is as easy as asking a Bluffton Realtor to show you the available properties in your price range! From beautiful condos on the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island to a sprawling home on the Colleton River Plantation Golf Course in Bluffton, our Realtor in Bluffton can show you exactly what you are looking for in a golf-oriented home. Check out some of the most popular golf courses in the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island area.

Best Golf Courses on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC

If it is your dream to live on one of these beautiful golf courses in Hilton Head or Bluffton, SC, our team of experienced Realtors at the Dufrene Group in Bluffton is ready to help make your dream come true. Just give us the word and we can create a list of all the golf-oriented properties for sale in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island for you to visit. Simply let us know your favorite golf homes for sale in Hilton Head or Bluffton and we will take you on a tour of them! Contact us today to schedule your tour of golf course homes at 843/707-2267 or contact us here.

 

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All About Closing Costs and What a Buyer Can Expect

There are many real estate terms a first-time buyer may not be familiar with – and that’s ok. As a Bluffton Realtor, it is my job to make sure you understand the terminology, so you feel comfortable when you begin to look at homes for sale in Bluffton.

An important thing to know about when considering Bluffton homes for sale is closing costs. First, a real estate closing is when the title of a property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The costs and fees associated with buying your home that are paid at the closing of the real estate transaction are called closing costs.

Closing costs are typically broken down into 2 categories: recurring and non-recurring. Recurring costs include things such as pre-paid property taxes, insurance, and interest.  Some of these expenses are paid each year via escrow. The non-recurring closing costs include things such as escrow and loan fees.

How Much Are the Closing Costs?

The total closing costs in SC are less than 3% of the amount of money borrowed for your home loan. For example, if you were looking at homes for sale in Bluffton for $300,000 the amount of the total closing costs would be around $9k or less.

Tips to Reduce Your Closing Costs

  • Part of the closing costs are pre-paid interest on the loan. Closing near the end of the month will mean that less interest is due on your loan for that month, reducing your closing costs.
  • Lenders vary in the amount of closing costs they charge to clients. Compare lender fees and interest rates to save thousands of dollars in closing costs. Also, feel free to negotiate closing costs with your lender to reduce your fees.
  • Sometimes you can trade a higher interest rate in exchange for a reduction in closing costs and sometimes even eliminate them completely!
  • Another option is to ask the seller to pay for closing costs when purchasing homes for sale in Bluffton. Most lenders allow the seller to pay up to 3% of the purchase price towards the buyer’s closing costs.

As an experienced Bluffton Realtor, The Dufrene Group can help you understand the home buying process and assist you with finding the home of your dreams. We’d love to show you your options! Contact us today to get started or search available homes for sale in Bluffton here!

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