Home Buying Stategies -Buying Home in Hilton Head SC

No matter if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, there are a few critical steps you can take to make a smarter purchase. Since buying a home is likely the biggest single investment you will ever make, being prepared will help you make a better purchase. Here are our best tips to buying a home.

1. Know your Buying Power

First, understand the hidden costs of buying a home. You will need to save not only for the down payment of your home – which is typically between 10%-20% of the offer price – but also for any additional transaction fees, such as transfer tax, PMI, title insurance, and legal fees.

Second, you need to figure out what you can realistically afford each month to understand how much house you can buy. Your mortgage rate will depend on your creditworthiness – if you have a high credit score, your lender will likely approve you for a lower mortgage rate, which can save you thousands of dollars per year in interest.

2. Fix Your Credit

When you apply for your loan pre-approval, you don’t want to have anything to hide on your application. So don’t lower your credit score by doing anything that will originate more inquiries into your credit. For example, don’t open any new credit cards. Also, don’t omit any debts or loans when you apply. If the loan officer discovers them in the application process, they may deny you a pre-approval.

Don’t raise any red flags with your creditworthiness in the weeks before closing. Any one of these moves could mean that you’re denied the loan and the deal falls through – even if you’ve already been pre-approved!

3. Work with a Knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent

Do you understand what kind of market you are buying into? Even within a city’s limit, there can be micro markets that are increasing or decreasing in value.

That is why it’s important to hire a highly competent real estate agent who knows the specific market. You want to make sure that the professional who you’re working with really understands what the market is like and will help you find the home you desire.

Request a Buyer’s Market Analysisfor the desired area you are looking at. A buyer’s market analysis report outlines which neighborhoods are still up and coming – with potential for increased property value – versus those that have peaked with inflated home prices. Having this analysis at your fingertips will help you know if a home’s list price is above comparable properties so you don’t overpay for a home.

Looking for a home in the Hilton Head Island – Bluffton area? Let me help you find the home of your dreams. I am well versed in this real estate market, and can provide you with a buyer’s market analysis to help you find the right neighborhood for you. Contact Me today!

 

 

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Getting A Hilton Head, SC Home Mortgage

Get an understanding of how the loan process works. Below we’ve outlined the steps to securing financing for your Hilton Head SC home.

1. Sort and organize all necessary documents

Lenders will request a long list of documents when you apply for a mortgage, so getting them ready early will save you time. What they want to see is proof that you can repay your loan, which includes documents such as a record of your employment, bank statements, tax returns, credit checks, and pay stubs. They’ll also take into consideration costs such as child support and alimony payments. The more information you can provide about your income, the better. If you have debt, your credit check should show that you’re regularly working towards paying it off.

2. Get pre-qualified or pre-approved

Getting an idea of how much of a loan you qualify for can happen in two different ways. The first is to get pre-qualified, which means the lender takes a quick look at your files and gives you a price range.

Pre-approval is lengthier, and while you do have to wait, we almost always recommend getting pre-approved for a mortgage. It shows that you’re able to buy, which can give you a leg up during the negotiation stages.

Either way, knowing what you can afford will save you time when searching for homes, not to mention help keep expectations in sight.

3. Set up the loan

From the length of the loan to the rates and fees, there’s a long list of items to consider when you’re putting together a loan. This is there your loan officer will really lend a hand. This tedious process is often simplified when you, the officer, and your REALTOR work together to put together a loan that meets your needs.

4. Finalize approval

Now that you have the house of your dreams in sight, your loan officer will return to all of the documentation you supplied during the pre-approval or pre-qualification steps. They’ll look at employment, credit, and other assets. If they request any more documents, provide them as quickly as possible.

It’s important to avoid making any large purchases until the loan closes, so you don’t set off any red flags. Now you can schedule your closing date and time!

5. Close on the loan

Closing on the loan means sealing the deal on your financing. All of the final documents will be signed, typically with a notary present. Double check the loan amount and all other terms, including the interest rate. Look at details as simple as your name and address; you don’t want any hiccups. Pay your closing costs and down payments, and you’ll be on your way!

Mortgage Calculator

This mortgage calculator can be used to figure out monthly payments of a home mortgage loan, based on the home’s sale price, the term of the loan desired, buyer’s down payment percentage, and the loan’s interest rate. This calculator factors in PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) for loans where less than 20% is put as a down payment. Also taken into consideration are the town property taxes, and their effect on the total monthly mortgage payment.

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“Best Community in America”- Hampton Lake

 

Located in Bluffton, South Carolina, Hampton Lake is a consecutive winner of the national Best in American Living Award (BALA) for “Best Community in America” and “Best Community Facility.” This Community offers one of the finest amenity packages in the Low Country. Behind the gates is a wide variety of home styles to choose from, whether you are retiring, looking for a second home or a welcoming community for your family.

There is 165-acres of freshwater lake that includes 7 miles of navigable waterways and 15 miles of shoreline. The lake, together with approximately 340 surrounding acres of nature preserve, creates over 500 acres of open space in the just over 900-acre community. Most lakefront homes and lots will accommodate boat slips for easy backyard access to all the lake offers. Hampton Lake’s is only minutes from Hilton Head Island, Beaufort and Savannah.

 

 

Hampton Lake offers many amenities to its residents, including:

 

Acreage

906 acres (362 hectares)

Gatehouse

24-hour manned gatehouse

Clubhouse

The Lakehouse Amenity Village includes indoor and outdoor gathering places, Backwater Bill’s Lowcountry-casual restaurant, the Tower Bar and more.

Fitness

Large state-of-the-art fitness center offers expert personal evaluation and training with a focus on preventive methodology, group programs, Pilates class, cardio room, hydro-jet pool and Gyrotonics.

Spa

The full-service spa offers the latest in massage therapy, treatments and pampering including hot stone and deep muscle massages, pedicures, manicures and facials.

Golf Nearby

A limited number of Equity golf memberships are available at the neighboring community of Hampton Hall, offering a classic links style Pete Dye Signature Golf course, and at nearby Berkeley Hall, with 36 holes of Tom Fazio “core” golf and one of the finest practice facilities and learning centers in the world.

Boating

Doc’s Boathouse is home to a variety of environmentally-friendly, quiet watercraft for member use: kayaks, canoes, Carolina Skiffs, Duffy Boats and a Sun Tracker. Or launch your personal boat (up to 22 feet in length with a boat motor size to about 25 hp) from Doc’s or your private dock.

Fishing

The lake has been designed with a variety of underwater habitats to enhance fish production of Tiger Bass (Largemouth Bass), hybrid Striped Bass, Copper-Nose Blue Gill, and Shellcracker. The Tackle Box adjacent to Doc’s is your one stop shop for all of your bait and fishing needs. And don’t miss Mother Nature’s eco-museum for a sneak peek of the fish and wildlife you’ll encounter on the lake.

Nature Trails

Approximately 9 miles of hiking and biking trails and boardwalks wind throughout the 340-acre Nature Preserve, along the shore of the 165-acre lake and around the perimeter of the community.

Swimming

Enjoy Adventure Lagoon, a family-oriented resort-style pool with a lazy river; The Cool Pool, an adults-only pool with private shaded cabanas; Shrimp’s Puddle, a children’s water play area with squirting pelicans and bubblers; or the lakefront sandy beach with fire pits.

Campsite

The Outpost includes covered sites for 4-8 person tents, picnic pavilion, fire rings, bathhouses, fishing rod stands, clothes drying racks, canoe and kayak storage and launch.

Dog Park

Dogpaddle Park includes an over-sized fire hydrant convenience station and picnic/rest shelters.

Home/Homesite Packages

Priced from the high $300,000s to $1 million+

Lots For Sale

Priced from the $90,000s

Homes For Sale

Priced from the low $300,000s to the $1 million+

We would love to be your Hampton Lakes Realtor. Please contact the Dufrene Team at 843.707.2267 to schedule an extensive tour of the community as well has the available properties for sale.

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Boosting your Hilton Head Island Area Home Curb Appeal

Curb-Appeal-Seminar-at-The-Lowcountry-Home-Garden-ShowFirst impressions are everything in real estate, and curb appeal can be the lure you need to catch more buyers and beat out the other homes for sale near you. Buyers, those who are just getting started and serious home hunters alike, will start by scanning neighborhoods for homes or by looking online for appealing listings. If you can hook them from the get go, you’ll be one step closer to closing.

By making your home welcoming to buyers, they’ll have an easier time picturing themselves living in the house. If they like what they see from the sidewalk, they’ll carry that impression as they tour from room to room. If they start off on the wrong foot, however, it can color their opinion of the whole property. Small changes to curb appeal can go a long way!

Presenting your home in a professional way can also help set the bar for the type of buyers that tour and put in offers. Qualified buyers will take your home seriously, and you’ll have an easier time getting the price you want.

Take a hard look at your home, and try to detach yourself. How does a buyer see the house? Are there attributes that suit your taste, but not necessarily everyone’s? Take a walk around and make a list of potential changes. Fixes can be simple and don’t have to cost a fortune.

 

Here’s our quick list of curb appeal tips:

  • Start with a yard clean-up: mow the lawn, trim or prune plants and trees, and keep the front entrance clear.
  • Climb (safely) to your gutters and clear them out.
  • Wash and squeegee your windows, and make sure to clean the screens.
  • Arrange patio furniture or put away any pieces that look tired.
  • Edit your selection of outdoor pots and planters, keeping only those that are filled with healthy plants.
  • Spruce up your trees and planters with mulch or wood chips.
  • Hide garbage cans, tools, and supplies to keep the clutter to a minimum.
  • Take care of the siding and driveway with a power wash.
  • Touch up little details such as the trim around the doors or windows.
  • Replace what you can on your roof, particularly if it’s just a few broken shingles.
  • Clean up your mailbox or invest in a new one.

Need tips on how to boost your curb appeal? We’ve got experts in the Hilton Head Island area with trained eyes, ready to lend a hand! Just let us know how we can help.

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Buying a Condo in Hilton Head SC

Before considering a Hilton Head Island condo, there are things to consider. We have provided resources and recommendations in this article that may help you through this process.

It is important to form an opinion on the Hilton Head Island area as a whole before you start the property searching process. It is recommended you visit the area and take in some of the sights to get a feel for the area.  Hilton Head Island is known for beautiful beaches, southern hospitality, and great weather. Many of the Condominiums’ are inside of Plantation Communities. Within these communities there may be homes, villas, condos, and resorts. Find the place that feels right to you before committing to purchasing property.  It may be worth getting a feel for several places.

Just like in every industry, some real estate agents in Hilton Head Island are better than others.  Some are more knowledgeable than others in specific areas like condos.  That is why it is helpful to Find a Hilton Head Island Condo Expert. Few agents understand condominiums and the individual buildings. You should find someone who has experience in this area and well versed in the condominium buying process.  It is advisable to find someone who is very capable in answering questions you have about specific buildings, and possibly suggest other buildings that meet the criteria you provide.  Doing this will help you to avoid many potential pitfalls during your search for a condo for sale in Hilton Head Island area.

When purchasing a condo, you become a member in the condominium association.  Condominiums are run a lot like a corporation.  One item you should have a firm grasp on is the financial condition of the association you are joining.  An experienced agent will not only be able to help you gain access to the condo docs, budget, Frequently Asked Questions, and end of year financials.  They will be able to walk you through these documents.  It is possible you are looking at documents like this for the first time and could use the eyes of someone who has done this many times before.  It is not uncommon for some condominium owners to be surprised months after closing to find out things about the association they were not aware of during the contract process.   These surprises can easily be prevented with the help of a knowledgeable agent and reviewing the condominium association information.

It may also be helpful to become familiar with the expenses related to condominium ownership. Some people find that looking at easy to read historical graphs is helpful.  If you are reading this and you are interested in Buying a Condo in Hilton Head SC for personal use or for investment purposes, we would love to assist you in finding the perfect Condo that meets all of your needs.

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Little Traffic, Lots to Like in Hilton Head

When you purchase Hilton Head real estate, you already know that you’re buying into one of the most exclusive communities in the country. What you may not know is that Hilton Head has one of the highest percentages of telecommuters in the United States. That makes sense – why leave paradise if you don’t have to? For those who do commute to work, the average commuting time is less than 20 minutes. No commuting or short commutes means that there’s little traffic and more time to enjoy all the amenities Hilton Head offers, whether it’s outstanding golf courses, world-class marinas for your boat, historic sites, fine dining or simply appreciating the natural beauty of the island. It’s a quiet, safe, gracious place to call home.

Hilton Head homes for sale include those on the ocean, bay or lagoons. No matter the community, odds are most homes have spectacular water views. Emphasis is on the word “community,” since, while the various neighborhood plantations each have their own architecture and character, they all resonate with true Southern charm and hospitality. With all the clubs and activities offered, a newcomer to Hilton Head is not a stranger for long.

Whether you’re seeking a full-time residence or a vacation home, it’s important to find a real estate agent in Hilton Head, South Carolina who understands the market and knows what his client wants. He’s in the business of making Hilton Head dreams come true.

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