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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Bluffton Realtor

These Beautiful Bluffton Homes for Sale Can Be Yours – Tips for Homebuyers in Bluffton, SC

House hunting in the beautiful SC Low Country is a nature and beach lover’s dream come true! When you are ready to look at the homes for sale in Bluffton, the team at the Dufrene Group can share their expertise in the Bluffton real estate housing market and help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner, our Bluffton Realtor can help you prepare for buying your home and offers these tips for homebuyers in Bluffton for a successful and fun homebuying experience.

Tips for Bluffton Homebuyers

Know Exactly How Much You Can Afford – What you want to spend and what you can actually afford
may be two different things. Your top priority in the homebuying process should be to get pre-qualified
for your mortgage. You will save so much time and effort if you know your mortgage budget, which
allows you to make a confident offer on the perfect home for you.

Make a Home Search Plan – The first step in finding the perfect home is to connect with a reputable
Realtor in Bluffton who will make the whole process a breeze. You will save money, time, and the
frustration of house hunting. An experienced Realtor can help you narrow down your search and keep
you informed of all the homes for sale in Bluffton and even take you on a tour of your favorites!

Be A Little Flexible – The fact is that most first time homebuyers do not typically end up purchasing their
home in the neighborhood or area of their original choice. Being a little bit flexible and expanding your
home search to include additional neighborhoods suggested by your Bluffton Realtor open a whole new
set of opportunities. Staying true to your requirements but being a little bit flexible can work wonders in
your Bluffton homes search.

Be Aware of the Community Costs for Homeowners – The Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, SC area is
home to many communities with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). In addition to your mortgage
payment, many homes for sale in Bluffton incur other costs and fees associated with your Bluffton
home. Your Realtor in Bluffton can explain the HOA fees for each community which include any special
assessments, membership fees, etc.

Count on the Dufrene Group – Your Full-Service Real Estate Agency!!!!!!!
Working with an experienced and professional Bluffton Realtor is the best way to have a stress free
homebuying experience. We are here to take care of everything, so you don’t have to. We’d love to help you get pre-approved for your house purchase and show you the homes for sale in Bluffton.

Contact us today for no cost, no obligation information!

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Do You Know Which Type of Home Loan is Best for You?

Do You Know Which Type of Home Loan is Best for You? Your Bluffton Realtor Can Help  

Buying a home and getting a mortgage can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. There is no need to stress, you just need a friend with experience to guide you. That’s where I can help. I am a Bluffton realtor and can assist you every step of the way in the home buying process from mortgage referrals to closing on your dream home.

The first step in buying a home is to get approved for a mortgage. There are a variety of different types of loans available for Bluffton homes for sale for qualified buyers.

Types of Home Loans

Fixed vs. Adjustable Rate

One of the first loan decisions you must make is whether you want a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage. (ARM).

Fixed-Rate – Loan maintains the same interest rate and monthly payment for the entire loan repayment term.

Adjustable-Rate – Loan has an interest rate that will adjust/change each year after an initial period of remaining fixed.

Next, you will need to decide about other types of loans including government-insured home loans like FHA and VA, as well as regular conventional loan.

A conventional home loan is one that is not guaranteed or insured by the federal government in any way.

There are several types of government insured home loans:

FHA Loans
FHA insured loans are available to all types of borrowers. The government protects the lender against losses and the borrower gets a low down payment, but must pay mortgage insurance each month. .
VA Loans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a loan program to current and past military service members and their families. This government backed loan means the VA will reimburse the lender for losses. Borrowers typically receive 100% financing on home purchases.

USDA / RHS Loans (Many Homes in Beaufort Country Qualify for This)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a loan program for rural borrowers who meet certain income requirements. Much of the Beaufort County area qualifies for the USDA/RHS loan. If you want to know if certain Bluffton homes for sale or Hilton Head homes for sale qualifies, contact me here.

Please note that borrowers can combine types of loans as follows: You may decide to choose an FHA loan with an adjustable rate mortgage or possibly a fixed interest rate on a conventional home loan. There are many options.

Need Help Sorting Through the Mortgage Process?

The team at the Dufrene Group knows it all probably seems so overwhelming. It’s very important to educate yourself about the process of buying a home, so you’ll get one you love and that’s comfortable for your budget. As an experienced realtor in Bluffton, it is my job (and privilege) to help you understand the loan process and get qualified to buy a home in Bluffton.

Please contact me for more information and feel free to check out the Bluffton homes for sale and the Hilton Head homes for sale. If you see any you are interested in, I’d love to take you on a tour. We are here to answer any questions you have, and are ready and willing to help guide you through the process.

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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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Homes under 200K in Bluffton SC For Sale

Are you thinking about buying a Home in Bluffton SC?

If so, you are making a great move. Bluffton SC has so much to offer. There are still many homes for sale in Bluffton SC for under $200,000. Within the Beaufort County, zip code 29910, there are homes available in communities with an HOA and several properties with NO HOA. Bluffton SC is an absolutely wonderful place to live with a small town feel, yet many of the amenities of a much larger city.

Click here to view a full list of available homes in the Bluffton SC market under $200k.

When looking for a home it is important to pace yourself so you will find the perfect place. Finding and buying the right home is a highly personalized process, and it all begins by identifying your needs. The property you buy will be much more than a house; it will be your home.

Please contact me with any questions you have about real estate or Lifestyles in Bluffton SC. My goal is to take you through the home purchasing process, making it as efficient, stress-free and successful as possible.

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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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