Charleston SC Houses Online - Charleston Low Country Blog

Fox family team blog.

Sept. 20, 2023

When To Buy? Decoding the Interest Rate Puzzle

Unlock the secrets behind making the right move.


When it comes to real estate, one of the most common questions I hear is about interest rates. Should you wait for rates to drop, or is it better to make a move now and potentially refinance later? While I can't predict the future, I can share what the experts are saying and provide some valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.


1. The expert perspective. According to experts, there's a possibility that interest rates may slightly decrease, potentially by the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2024. However, please note that these predictions are far from certain. The truth is, rates could go up, down, or remain steady. So, what should you do?

"The decision to buy a home involves numerous factors."


2. The buy-and-protect strategy. Imagine you knew for certain that interest rates were on the rise. In this scenario, making a home purchase now could be a smart move. Why? Because you'd lock in a lower interest rate before they climb higher. This strategy is especially beneficial if you have compelling reasons to buy.


3. The rates-will-fall scenario. On the flip side, what if you were certain that rates were going to decrease? Surprisingly, it might still be a wise decision to buy now. When rates drop significantly, the housing market tends to heat up. Prices can skyrocket, and you might find yourself in a fierce competition for homes. By buying today, you secure the current prices and protect yourself from potential bidding wars in the future.


The decision to buy a home involves numerous factors, including interest rates, economic conditions, and personal circumstances. While no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, the buy-and-protect strategy could be your ticket to a secure housing investment. If you're considering a move and have compelling reasons, don't hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing real estate landscape and make the best choice for your future.

Posted in Buying A Home
Sept. 7, 2023

Navigating Hurricane Season: Top Tips for Real Estate Buyers

Three tips for buyers looking to make a move during the hurricane season.


As we navigate the real estate market during hurricane season, there are a couple of crucial reminders that we'd like to share to ensure you are well-prepared. These are insights you may not always find in the headlines or hear on the local news, so we hope you can benefit from our experience.


Let's start with a personal story. Just yesterday, we made a significant investment by purchasing two new properties. However, it was on Sunday that the realization struck—our insurance wasn't set up for these houses yet! Even as seasoned real estate agents, sometimes things slip through the cracks.


In a moment of panic, we scheduled a 7 a.m. text message to our insurance agent, urgently requesting coverage for our new properties. Thankfully, we caught the issue just in time to secure insurance policies before the hurricane season insurance freezes began later that day.


Tip #1: Timely Insurance Binding

Our first tip, and perhaps the most critical during hurricane season (from June to November), is to get your insurance in place as soon as you're under contract for a new home. Don't make the mistake of waiting until the last minute, like we did. By binding your policy early, you'll avoid the stress of scrambling to secure coverage as the storm approaches. It's not advisable to buy a house without insurance, so get this done promptly.

"It's fascinating to realize that I've now been an agent for as long as I wasn't one."


Tip #2: Review and Update Your Insurance

Our second tip is also related to insurance but focuses on ensuring you have the right coverage. If you purchased your insurance years ago, it's likely that the values and materials used in construction have changed. Don't be caught with outdated coverage. Talk to your insurance agent and make sure your policy accurately reflects the current value and rebuilding costs of your home. We've seen cases where underinsured homeowners faced significant financial challenges after a disaster, so be proactive.


Tip #3: Consider Potential Delays During Hurricane Season

Lastly, remember that during hurricane season, unexpected delays can occur, affecting your real estate transactions. For instance, if a hurricane hits shortly before your scheduled closing, some banks may request a reevaluation of the property to check for damages. While this might be frustrating, it's in your best interest. Imagine if you had already closed and a tree fell on your new home. Delayed closings can be a blessing in disguise, allowing time for repairs or confirming the property's condition.


Whether you're buying or selling a house, particularly during hurricane season, it's crucial to stay proactive and informed. We're here to help you navigate these challenges, providing expertise and support. Feel free to reach out to us by phone or email for any assistance, regardless of the season. Your peace of mind is our priority. Stay safe and well-prepared, always. 

Aug. 22, 2023

Celebrating 18 Years in Real Estate: A Journey of Gratitude and Growth

Reflecting on my 18 years of learning, growth, and gratitude.


Today marks an incredible milestone in my journey – it's my 18th anniversary as a real estate agent, and I couldn't be more grateful. As I reflect on this journey, I'm amazed at how time has flown by. It's fascinating to realize that I've now been an agent for as long as I wasn't one.


Throughout these eight years in the business, I've had the privilege to work with wonderful individuals like you. Some of you trusted me even when I was a fresh face in the field, looking like a 12-year-old! And over the years, many of you have continued to put your faith in me, allowing me to handle your real estate needs, your family, and your friends.

"It's fascinating to realize that I've now been an agent for as long as I wasn't one."


I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support. Your referrals, trust, and collaboration have been the cornerstones of my journey. Although 18 years might seem like a significant period, I still approach each day as a learning experience. I'm committed to growth, just as I was when I started.


I am also fortunate to have an incredible team that shares the same passion for learning and improvement. As I celebrate this milestone, I want you to know that I'm here for you. Your referrals and continued support mean the world to me, and I'm eager to assist with any real estate needs you may have.


Thank you once again for being an integral part of my journey. Here's to many more years of growth, learning, and creating meaningful connections. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance or have questions about real estate. 

July 10, 2023

Simplify Your Life With a Multi-Service Real Estate Specialist

Offering you the professional resources you need to get your project done.


Are you in need of assistance with real estate matters? Look no further! We’re here to help. But that's not all—we’re also your go-to for a wide range of services. We constantly interact with various service providers, including plumbers, electricians, air conditioning experts, surveyors, attorneys, lenders, appraisers, and more. 


The demand for reliable service providers is on the rise, making it challenging to secure their services promptly. However, with our extensive network and long-standing relationships with these professionals, we can ensure that your needs are met efficiently. When we recommend a service provider, you can rest assured that they are not only skilled but also offer fair pricing and guarantee their work.

"You can be confident that projects will be done promptly and professionally."


Remember, we're here to assist you with more than just real estate. Whether you need your house pressure washed or require the services of a locksmith, don't hesitate to reach out. If you're contemplating making improvements to your home and seek advice from a Realtor, we'd be delighted to assist. Whether you're unsure about investing in certain upgrades or have questions about prioritizing expenses, we can offer guidance based on our expertise.


We're here to make your real estate journey as smooth as possible. Call or text us at (843) 532-6441, and we'll be happy to help. We aim to provide comprehensive support for all your needs. 

June 9, 2023

Sell Smarter: Understanding the Impact of Pre-Listing Home Inspections

Uncover the pros and cons of getting a pre-listing home inspection.


When it comes to selling our own personal properties, we don't typically opt for a home inspector to go through every nook and cranny. Instead, we might ask a real estate agent friend to provide a fresh perspective and identify any noticeable issues that we may have overlooked. But do we want a comprehensive list of all the problems with our house? Not really. We prefer to focus on highlighting the positive aspects and market the property accordingly.


Having a list of problems upfront creates a dilemma—either fix them or disclose them to potential buyers. Disclosing a laundry list of issues isn't ideal for effective marketing. Alternatively, fixing all the problems may be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Even if you do address the issues, the buyer will likely conduct their own inspection, potentially discovering additional problems that the first inspector missed.


Getting a pre-inspection only leads to a cycle of fixing things based on one inspection, followed by more fixes based on the buyer's inspection. It becomes an endless loop. On the other hand, starting with no inspection allows for negotiation with the buyer based on their inspection report. We can focus on addressing the specific concerns that arise during this stage of the process without having to fix everything or disclose it all upfront.

"Typically, we don’t recommend getting a pre-listing inspection."


By avoiding a pre-inspection, we can negotiate with a buyer who is already committed to purchasing the property. They have a vested interest and may be more willing to compromise on repairs or adjustments. This approach allows for a smoother negotiation process, and we can prioritize what needs fixing and what can be left as is.


Of course, there may be exceptions where getting a home inspection before listing is necessary. If you have concerns about your property or believe there might be significant issues, it's worth discussing with a professional. They can evaluate your situation and provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.


While we don't typically recommend getting a pre-listing home inspection, every situation is unique. If you're unsure whether a home inspection is necessary for your property, feel free to call or email us for a consultation. We're here to help you make informed decisions and navigate the selling process successfully. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 16, 2023

Unlocking Success: The Advantages of Teamwork in Real Estate

Working with a team will provide you with so many more advantages.


Today, I’m here to talk about why a team always outperforms an individual. When I compare myself with a team to how I was before, the team version is much better and more efficient. This includes all of our team’s agents, administrators, photographers, and attorneys. We work well together and are all needed. 


Imagine you’re at the airport, and the same person greets you, takes your bag, checks your ticket, and runs security. Then you get on the plane, and that same person gives you safety instructions, flies the plane, and brings you food and drink. I don’t know about you, but that would make me pretty nervous! 


The truth is that no one can do and be everything. Successful businesses are never made of just one person. The problem is that a lot of agents try to do this. They can get their licenses and get started on their own. However, they try to be the jack of all trades and end up the master of none.

"All of this is to make sure that our clients have a better experience."


Our team includes a variety of specialists that are great at what they do. For example, I know what I’m good at and what I love to do, and I never have to worry about the other details because I know other team members are taking care of them. I know there’s someone looking at the details and making sure we don’t miss a deadline. 


This team also has someone who focuses on marketing, writing, and getting the word out. Plus, there are people who are great at working with a specific type of client, like an investor or first-time homebuyer. 


All of this is to make sure that our clients have a better experience. For example, if you want to see a house and I have a scheduling conflict, there are a lot of people who can step in and make sure you don’t miss an opportunity. 


There are many other reasons why working with the team is much better. Therefore when you're ready to buy, sell, or invest in real estate, I hope you’ll call the Fox Family Team. We are here for you! 

May 3, 2023

Why Pre-Approval Letters Matter for Buyers and Sellers

The difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification explained..


Right now, the real estate market is full of multiple offers. When comparing offers as a seller or buyer, it's essential to know the difference between a pre-approval letter and a pre-qualification letter.


A pre-qualification letter suggests that you might be qualified for a loan. Although reputable lenders send them out, some sellers might prefer a stronger approval letter. An approval letter indicates that the lender has checked your credit, income, assets, and other factors and has pre-approved you to buy the house. Having this information in the letter can make your offer more appealing to sellers.

"A pre-approval letter will make an offer stronger."


Why is this important? When a seller has multiple offers, they want to choose the strongest one upfront to avoid losing out on the sale. Choosing an offer with weak financing could lead to the deal falling through later, causing them to go back on the market and receive less activity. On the buyer's side, having a pre-approval letter shows that you're a strong contender compared to others.


To ensure that your offer stands out, it's crucial to have a pre-approval letter. Just be careful because not all pre-qualification letters are equal. It's best to work with a trusted real estate agent who can recommend a great lender and help you vet other offers that come in on your property.


Pre-approval is the way to go. Call or email me if you’d like to get pre-approved or have any other questions. I look forward to hearing from you! 

April 11, 2023

Are Buyers Fighting Over Houses Again?

Here’s what you need to know about the state of our local housing market.


Real estate is one of the most important industries in any country, and it is always important to stay up to date on market trends. That’s why today, I’m taking a look at the current state of the real estate market in Charleston, South Carolina.


The national real estate market is a topic of conversation for many people, but we want to focus on our local market. We've had at least three multiple-offer situations in the last week where we had a buyer that wanted a house, and there were nine or more offers on one of them. There is a lot of competition in some parts of the market because there isn't a lot of inventory coming onto the market.


The inventory levels in Charleston have been decreasing over time. In December, there were over 3,000 homes for sale, which is already pretty low. Since then, inventory has been getting even lower. Now, there are only about 2,300 homes on the market, which means there's not a lot for buyers to choose from.


Last week, 362 houses were sold, which was down from 380 a year ago. So, when people say that the market has just crashed, that's not the case. But if you're looking to buy or sell a house, you should be aware of how this affects you right now.

"Buyers might want to enter the market sooner rather than later."


If you're looking to buy, you should try to get in soon because as inventory goes down and people still come to our market, the prices are going to have to go up. These houses that received ten offers on them didn't sell at the asking price. They went over the asking price. So, if you don't want to make offers with no contingencies, you need to get in sooner rather than later.


If you're selling, you need to come up with a strategy that takes advantage of this for you. We met with a seller who needs to move. A few months ago, we were thinking maybe $329,000 for their house, but now it looks like maybe $350,000 because there's no inventory in this particular area that they're going to compete with. We want you to get the most money possible for your house.


The low inventory is keeping the prices up, and the interest rates are not stopping people from moving when they need to move. People are moving down here for their job, moving down here because they can work from anywhere and want to get away from the cold, or businesses are coming to the area. They're moving regardless of the interest rates.


At the end of the day, the real estate market in Charleston is still strong. If you have any questions about your particular situation, you can always call or email us. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Posted in Market Update
March 20, 2023

Find Your Best Home Possible with These Easy Steps

Here’s what buyers need to know before searching for their dream homes.


How can you achieve your goal of moving into the perfect home that suits your needs? Perhaps you settled for your current home, but you're now ready to find a house that better fits your preferences. Or maybe your circumstances have changed, and you need a different type of home that accommodates your needs.


If you're ready to take the next step, there are a few things you need to do. First, determine your options by speaking with a lender. They can tell you how much you can afford to spend on a new home and whether you need to sell your current one first.


Next, talk to a real estate agent to get an idea of how much your current home could sell for and what the process would look like. We can create competition for your home to maximize your options for selling and timing your move.

"By starting early and planning ahead, we can ensure a smooth transition to your new home."


We'll work with you to develop a game plan that takes into account your desired move date and other factors, such as your children's school schedules. By starting early and planning ahead, we can ensure a smooth transition to your new home.


Currently, the market is strong, with many interested buyers and motivated sellers. So it's a good time to make your move and get the best possible deal on both the sale of your current home and the purchase of your new one.


If you're ready to make the transition to the home that's right for you, contact the Fox Family Team. We have the expertise and experience to guide you through the process and make it as seamless as possible. 

Posted in Buying A Home
March 6, 2023

A Beginner's Guide To Investing in Real Estate

Don’t wait—get started with your real estate investing journey today.


Investing in real estate can be an excellent way to build wealth and secure your financial future. However, if you're looking to buy your first investment property, the process can seem daunting. The good news is that there are many ways to finance your investment property, and with the right guidance, you can find the perfect property to meet your goals.


One of the biggest things to figure out when buying an investment property is how you will pay for it. There are many financing options available, including traditional conventional financing, cash, 401k, and home equity lines of credit. With the current real estate market, a home equity line of credit may be an excellent option for those who have a lot of equity in their homes.


Once you have figured out your financing, the next step is to determine your goals for the investment property. Are you looking for long-term income to use for retirement or to replace your current income over time? Investing in real estate can provide a stable income source that will increase over time, as rental prices tend to rise. If you finance the property, you can also benefit from the fact that once it's paid off, it will generate even more income.

"The key to successful real estate investing is to get started."


The final step is to find the right property that meets your investment goals. This can be a daunting task, but with the right help, you can find the perfect investment property. There are many different strategies you can use, from flipping properties to buying rentals.


The key to successful real estate investing is to get started. Many people are intimidated by the process and never take the first step. However, once you buy your first investment property and see the benefits, you may be ready for a second, third, or even more. Investing in real estate is relatively easy, and with the right guidance, you can build a strong financial future.


If you're ready to start investing in real estate, don't hesitate to ask for help. I can guide you as you navigate the process and find the perfect investment property for your goals. Feel free to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Posted in Buying A Home