Charleston SC Houses Online - Charleston Low Country Blog

Fox family team blog.

Nov. 18, 2022

This Is What Happens Under Contract

There are three things you need when going under contract.


So you’re under contract to buy a home: Now what? There are a few steps that need to be taken between the time the contract is written and when you can move into your new home. This is one of the ways in which having a good team behind you can make the process a lot easier, but here are three things you need to consider:


1. Earnest money. One of the first things that happens is that you put down your earnest money. This can be very little or quite a lot, depending on how competitive the market is, but typically we see around $1,000.


2. Inspections and appraisal. The inspection and appraisal process is another where you’ll find yourself paying a little bit out of pocket. This will typically be around $350 to $500 for the inspection, depending on things like whether there is a crawl space, and $500 to $550 for the appraisal, depending on how things are negotiated with the lender.

"The steps that must be taken between when the contract is written and when you can move."


3. Documents and deadlines. Your No. 1 job as the buyer is to ensure that you have all of your information together and that you get that to the right parties as quickly as possible. We have a full-time member of our team whose sole responsibility is to ensure that we meet all of our deadlines and that the seller doesn’t get an advantage during negotiations. 


If you’re working with our team, that’s pretty much the entire process on your part. You pay the earnest money, inspection, and appraisal costs, and you ensure that the lender gets all of the necessary documentation. Everything else is handled by our team.


So if you’re looking to buy a home, please reach out to us as soon as possible. The sooner we begin, the sooner we can make this process easy for you. You can contact us by phone or email, and we’d be happy to help you out.

Posted in Buying A Home
Nov. 4, 2022

Don’t Be Afraid To Sell This Time of Year

The holiday season can actually be a great time for sellers to list.


A question I often hear around this time of year is, “Should I sell during the holidays, or am I better off waiting?” Here are four reasons you might want to list ASAP:


1. During the holidays, homes always look nice. Your house is probably already decorated and is ready for holiday guests to come over. People get a great feeling about a home in that environment since they tend to buy with their emotions.


2. You have less competition during the holidays. It's very common for people to wait and put their house on the market in January. In the winter we have much less inventory than during spring, which is excellent for sellers. Low inventory means less competition, and you’ll close for closer to the list price. Additionally, since there are fewer homes available, more buyers will be interested in yours.

"Help buyers and get top dollar in the process."


3. You can show your house on your schedule. Everyone understands that you’ll be having important gatherings, so we can work around them. We can block out the schedule so that showings will be before or after to ensure that you're not interrupted during your family time.


4. Buyers are more serious. Buyers tend to be more serious around the holidays, so they'll probably work around your schedule. People are serious if they're out looking at houses in the cold. Changing life circumstances don’t wait for the spring, so those buyers want to get into a home now. You can make that happen for them and get top dollar in the process.


If you're wondering about selling soon, reach out to us by phone or email. We’d love to counsel you on your situation and whether you should list now or wait. Have a great holiday season! 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 21, 2022

How To Buy a Home Before Selling Yours

Four options for those who need to buy a home before selling.


Selling your current home before buying a new one is the conventional way to move. However, depending on your situation, there will be times when buying before you sell is the better option. Whatever your reason, you should know that buying first comes with additional risks, such as paying two mortgages.


If you’re in a situation where you must buy first before selling, don’t worry. It’s not completely impossible, but it takes some strategic planning to make it happen. Here are four things that will help you buy before you sell:


1. Make an offer with a home-sale contingency. It’s possible to get a contingent offer accepted even in the hottest market because in most cases, you're moving up and may be buying a more expensive house and selling a less expensive home. For example, when you purchase a $500,000 house and sell a $300,000 home, that $300,000 house is going to sell a lot quicker typically. However, when you make the offer, your agent has to do a good job of explaining to the listing agent that your home will likely sell fast in today’s market. 


Sometimes the seller’s house has been on the market for a while due to its higher price point. You have to make sure your offer is attractive to them, and let them understand that taking your contingent offer makes sense. We know different ways to do this and we’re happy to help you.

"Knock and Ribbon are changing the way people buy and sell homes."


2. Finance with a bridge loan. When you buy with a bridge loan, you can use your existing home as collateral to get a loan for your new house. However, a traditional bridge loan isn’t always available. What my clients usually do is approach a lender who will let them buy the new house and put down 5% before they sell. After they sell, we buy the new house once they qualify. They put down the 5% and recast the loan. 


3. Use a service that will help you make a cash offer. Companies like Knock and Ribbon are revolutionizing the way people buy and sell homes. These types of companies will actually buy the new house for you while you sell the other house. Once you’ve sold the old house, they will then sell you the house that you want. There is usually a cost to that, but it can be worth it because it gives you the chance to move your things into the new house so you can focus on prepping the house you want to sell.


4. Keep the first house as an investment property. As a final advice, maybe you shouldn't sell that first house, and keep it as an investment property instead. If you get a renter to sign a lease, most banks will count it like you don't have that house payment and they'll let you qualify for the new house. That way, you can upgrade to a new house and you'll keep an asset that will go up in value.


Whatever decision you make, it all comes down to your situation. Give me a call or send an email, so we can talk about how you can make your move as smooth as possible. 

Oct. 4, 2022

How To Know if a Warranty Is Right for You

Here's why some people love home warranties and others hate them.


Home warranties—some people hate them and some love them. Why would that be the case? When I get to the part of a contract where there's a box to check yes or no for a home warranty, I usually get a very strong reaction from the buyers. 


Recently, buyers weren’t able to ask the sellers for anything because of the state of the market, but things are changing. Now, we might be able to get some concessions. The question is, do you want to ask the seller for a home warranty, do you want to pay for one yourself, or do you not even want one? I'm here to discuss why some people love them so much and why some people hate them.

"The main thing about buying a home warranty is knowing what to expect."


Earlier this year, a home warranty saved me a lot of money. I like home warranties for myself, but there are limitations. For example, the process of getting a repair done could take a lot longer. I don't buy one for Airbnb properties because I know if I have a guest there and something goes wrong, I have to get it fixed immediately.


The main thing about buying a home warranty is knowing what to expect. I like having one for my home because over the years it has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars


It's also about the age of the home. I have a home where my air conditioners are probably 15 years old and are likely to have problems. If you have a newer home, it’s a lot less likely that you're going to need a home warranty. When you’re looking at a house, ask yourself: How old is everything? How likely is it that I’m going to need something fixed? Is a home warranty going to be worth it for me? 


I don't make any money from selling home warranties, I just have them on my property and I know that they’re right for some people while frustrating for others. Please reach out if you have any questions, I’d love to help! Call or email anytime. 

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Sept. 19, 2022

Now Is a Fantastic Time To Buy: Here’s Why

Here’s why you don’t need to worry about a housing market crash.


Are housing prices going to fall? Some so-called investors will tell you to wait for a big crash before getting into the market, but is that a smart move? In my opinion, now is the best time to buy a home we’ve seen in a long time, and today I’ll discuss why. 


You can listen to my full explanation in the video above or skip to each topic using the timestamps provided:

0:00 — Introduction

1:04 — As long as demand outpaces supply, prices will go up

1:32 — Our market has a severe shortage of homes

2:06 — Some people think inventory will rise, but I disagree

3:37 — Interest rates will restrict inventory and keep prices high

4:38 — iBuyers won’t sell their real estate investments

6:01 — Wrapping up today’s topic


If you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, please call or email me. I am always willing to help! 

Posted in Buying A Home
Aug. 30, 2022

Why Now Is Still a Great Time To Act

There are plenty of reasons for buyers and sellers to love this market.


There might be a lot of change happening in the housing market, but there are also a ton of opportunities! We want to let our clients into our Fox Family Team meeting so you can hear everything we love about this market. 


For buyers, there are tons of great things in this market. For example, you can negotiate again. Instead of having to rush big decisions, you get more time to decide, and more homes are selling at list price instead of way above. 


It is still a seller's market, so it’s very possible to get top dollar when you sell your home. Plus, getting multiple offers remains common.

"We have confidence this is still a good time to act."


There are plenty of reasons to feel good about the current state of the market. Historically, affordability is still high, and there are more options for homes, which is great for both buyers and sellers. 


Our team is skilled and diverse, and we can make a huge difference for our clients. We have confidence this is still a good time to act, and we want you to have confidence as well. If you have any questions about the current market or want our help with your buying and selling needs, you can reach out through phone or email. We would love to hear from you! 

Posted in Market Update
Aug. 8, 2022

Are We in a Housing Bubble?

Why you don’t need to worry about a housing bubble this year.


People have been asking me about whether we’re in a housing bubble more than any other real estate topic lately. That’s not for no reason; with home prices on the rise, many are worried that they’ll eventually come crashing down again. Some have even heard of a housing bubble on the news, prompting them to consider selling their houses now. That's why I'm addressing what’s truly happening in today’s market and what buyers and sellers need to know.


First, what does a housing bubble even mean? A bubble is essentially a period of artificial inflation where prices increase significantly, but when the market can no longer sustain those prices, they plummet. That’s not good for anyone, except perhaps the investors standing by to scoop up the many properties that inevitably go up for sale.


However, there’s a big difference between today’s market and the last recession. Last time, lenders gave out money to anyone who asked for it, whether or not they were qualified for loans. Nowadays, lending requirements are much stricter. Buyers need to provide all sorts of financial documents and information to get approved for a loan.

"Though increased rates have caused a shift, the market is still going strong."


Additionally, the demand for homes was different during the last recession. Speculators bought multiple properties thinking they would keep rising in value. However, then they realized that there weren’t buyers for their properties because everyone who needed a home had one. Then, interest rates began to change, and people began to lose their jobs. The supply of homes outweighed the demand for them.


In today’s market, demand exceeds supply. Builders are trying to keep up with that demand, but they can’t because of supply chain issues and population growth. Since 2010, the population has grown by 27 million people, but only around 5 million new homes have been built. Overall, the nation is around five million homes short of what is needed to create a more balanced market. 


Though increased rates have caused a shift, the market is still going strong. Home prices may appreciate a little slower than they have been, but they will continue to rise.


If you have any questions about what’s going on in the market or want an accurate estimate of your home’s value, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help you. 

Posted in Market Update
July 21, 2022

Homes Are Sitting "Longer" in the Charleston Market

Our Charleston, SC housing market is cooling down. What now?


What’s going on in our Charleston housing market? Today we’ll cover some critical stats we’ve received from Carolina One. They've consistently kept us up to date on the latest real estate technology, legal issues, etc. to help us understand where the market is heading. We’ll interpret the data and explain what it means for buyers and sellers.


Feel free to watch the full explanation or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure:


0:00 — Introduction

0:57 — Comparing the number of homes that went under contract 

1:42 — We sold more homes at the same time in 2021 

2:00 — The market is slightly slower than it was this time last year

3:14 — Inventory has been up since the beginning of the year

3:56 — What this means for buyers and sellers

4:44 — It’s still a strong market

5:01 — How we can help you get the best deal in today’s market

6:37 — Wrapping up 


If you need more help with your buying or selling plans, don’t hesitate to call or email my team or me. We’ll be happy to help!

Posted in Market Update
March 25, 2010

Fox Family Team

Posted in Things To Do