Do I Need a Realtor When I Buy New Home Construction?

Do I need a Realtor When I buy New Home Construction?

Do I need a realtor when I buy a new home construction for sale in Summerville or the surrounding areas? This is a great question most new home buyers ask themselves. First, let’s cover some facts to help answer this question for you.

  1. Cost of A Realtor:
    • The cost for you to have a realtor representing you is free. Home builders always pay realtors a percentage of the home. It is a built in cost that they expect to pay and if you don’t bring a realtor with you, that results in more profit for them. They will not reduce the price of their home because that will lower the values of all of their other homes. As a result, you should always have representation when you walk into a new home development site or talk to a new home salesperson.   The new home salesperson is representing the Builder, and protecting their best interests.  The contracts, which are unique to their development are written in favor of the builders and you need your South Carolina realtor to go through the contract and advise you.
  2. Who Works For You?
    • The salesperson onsite at a development will be extremely friendly and helpful, but don’t forget that they are employed and paid by the builder and their loyalty will go with them.  After the contract is signed, as questions come up and if problems occur, you will be grateful you have an agent who is solely looking out for you and making sure the builder is doing what he is supposed to do.  You can’t always expect that from an onsite agent who has moved on and is working with new clients.  Making sure you have a Summerville Realtor who is working for you is vital in the new home buying process.  Having a son who is a custom home builder, helps me to have an extra layer of experience in the New Home Construction arena. This knowledge of the ins and outs of the building process will help you to make wise decisions about your new home for sale in Summerville.
  3. Negotiations
    • Most people think that buying a new home is like buying something at the store…it is a fixed price with no room for negotiations.  However, depending on the temperature of the market, this is not always true.  Because we are in a heavy seller’s market right now, there is less wiggle room, but while the prices are often firm, incentives, upgrades and closings costs are all negotiation tools that your Realtor can wield in your favor.
  4. Benefits to you…
    • When you buy on your own without representation the benefit to you equals ZERO.  When you purchase without a buyer’s agent, the savings go to the builder and are not passed on to you.  Your realtor’s job is not just about finding you your home, but successfully navigating you through the passages that will see it all the way to completion and see that your best interests are always honored.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle your new home purchase without representation.

Please contact me if you have any questions for me about the process or would like to look at New Homes for Sale in Summerville or the surrounding areas.  I ask that all of my clients allow me to come along or at a minimum allow me to pre-register you with the builder for your first visit if you would rather check things out the first time on your own.

Advertisements

How Much House Can I Afford?

How Much House Can You Afford?When clients come into my office, one of the first things we determine is how much house can they afford.  Knowing this important bit of information is vital in starting a good home search and making sure we find a home for sale in Summerville that they can successfully purchase and secure a mortgage for.  But what if you don’t know how much home you can afford?

The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on six factors:
1. Gross income
2. The amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender
3. Your outstanding debts
4. Your credit history
5. The type of mortgage you select
6. Current interest rates

Real Estate for Sale in Summerville, SCAs a general rule, lenders don’t want borrowers to spend more than 28 percent of their gross income per month on a mortgage payment or more than 36 percent on debts. Part of my job is to help you find a great mortgage lender if you are not already working with someone to help you secure your loan. Read More at  How Much House Can I Afford?

Christmas Events in Charleston, SC 2014

Looking for Christmas Events in Summerville 2016?

Christmas Events abound in Charleston, SC!  It may not be snowing, but there is plenty of Christmas Spirit and cheer in the city of Charleston.   Here are a few of my top picks for the upcoming Holiday Season. Hope to see you at some of them!  If you are looking for Christmas Events in Summerville, SC hop over here.

Holiday Festival of Lights

November 14-January 1, 2015

James Island County Park,

Every year the James Island County Park lights up over 500,000 lights to provide you with an enchanting 3-mile driving tour. Fun for everyone – in fact, they also offer a marshmallow roast and a 54 passenger train ride through the park to view the lights. To tour the lights in your car is $15/car and if you’d like you can ride the train around the lake for approximately $3/person and children under 2 are free if they sit in the lap of an adult.

I went with my kids and grandkids two years ago and it was a lot of fun for all the ages. You can read about my experience at the James Island Festival of Lights here.

Free Christmas Events in Charleston, SC 

The Reindeer Run 

December 6, 2014

Downtown Charleston, SC

This is a fun 5K run/walk through the streets of downtown Charleston during the Christmas season.  Take in gorgeous Charleston decked out in Christmas fanfare!  If you don’t like to run, just walk. If the kids want to come, they can dress up and compete in the “Most Original Holiday Costume” contest!  My daughter is going to be running this year, so I’ll be there.

 

Charleston Christmas Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Charleston, SC

December 6, 2014 2-5 PM (Parade) 4:30-6pm (Christmas Tree Lighting)

Marian Square, between King , Meeting & Calhoun Streets

This great holiday tradition is fun with bands and performers parading through downtown Charleston.  After the parade, join the Mayor of Charleston, SC and Santa Claus in lighting the magnificent 60 foot Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas Tree at Marion Square.

 

North Charleston Christmas Festival – Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in North Charleston, SC

December 7, 2014 4:30-9pm, Call 843-740-5854

Marian Square, between King , Meeting & Calhoun Streets

The city of North Charleston puts on a festival, parade and Christmas lighting all in one night! Experience dozens of beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local churches, schools, businesses, and civic groups. Enjoy rides, dancing troupes, hayrides, pony rides, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Clause and the annual Christmas parade. Admission is free.

Events that Require Admission Fees:

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker in North Charleston, SC

The Nutcracker Ballet is a staple of the Holiday Season and the Moscow Ballet’s spectacular Great Russian Nutcracker is in North Charleston this year! Celebrate the beloved Christmas tradition with the whole family as forty world-class Russian artists bring this charming classic to life. Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score this Christmas with the magic of larger than-life-puppets, growing Christmas tree and life-sized Matrushka Dolls.

Columbia City Ballet’s The Nutcracker

If you don’t want to see the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, come see the Columbia City Ballet perform The Nutcracker earlier in December at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

 

Charleston Sleigh Ride

No, we don’t have snow, but since 2008, we have the Charleston Sleigh Ride!  Travel along the Charleston Peninsula for 1.5 hours and look at Christmas Decorations, hear stories of Charleston’s Christmas Traditions and sip on hot cocoa as you go!

Five Steps to Buying a Summerville SC Home

Buying a Home in Summerville, SC

Five Steps to Buying A Summerville Home

Get Pre-Qualified to buy a home

  • Meet with a Mortgage Banker
  • Save for a Down Payment (10-20% of purchase price)
  • If you own a home, place it on the market with a qualified Summerville realtor.

Find a Realtor

  • Ask for Referrals from friends, family and work acquaintances.
  • Check the Realtor’s online presence & reviews on the web.
  • Explain your needs & timeline to the realtor you choose and let them go to work for you.  They should set up custom searches and keep their ears and eyes open for Summerville houses that will work for your situation.

Find a Summerville Property

Make an Offer

  • Once you have found your favorite home, don’t wait to long before you place an offer.  Remember good houses go quickly in this Summerville market.
  • Work with your Realtor to write a contract.
  • Rely on neighborhood comps and your Realtor’s expertise to place a competitive bid.
  • Keep your credit score stable throughout the process.

Close on Your House

  • Conduct Home Inspection-negotiate repairs with sellers
  • Secure Mortgage
  • Obtain Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Review HUD Statement with realtor prior to closing
  • Set up utility bills in your name
  • Sign the closing papers and start enjoying your new home!

If you are interested in buying a Summerville, SC Home, please Contact Me and I will help you get started on these steps!

 

 

 

Fun Summer Ideas for kids in Charleston, SC

Are you looking for fun, free / cheap summer activities in Charleston, SC  to do as a family this summer?  My wife and I raised four children in Summerville, SC so finding fun, educational, and cheap ideas was always at the top of our list. Now we have five grandchildren and another one due in a month, so we still are always on the lookout!  It is not hard to find fun summer ideas for the kids when you live in the Charleston area, but here are some of our favorites!

Cheap Fun Activities for Kids in Charleston

Beach-  This is a no brainer for those of us that live here, but it has to be said!  I always said that the beach was the best babysitter out there. The kids would play, create and just relax for hours at the beach. Some of our best memories as a family and now with our grandkids are hours spent at the Isle of Palms.  That’s our beach of choice for kids, but get out there and explore. Find which one fits your family. If you go to the IOP, just remember to park 4 feet off the street so you don’t get a ticket! Fun with Kids in Charleston, SC  Fun Children's Activies in Charleston, SC

Chick-Fil-A – This is always a treat and a favorite place to frequent with the kids. I thought it was worth mentioning, because this Friday, July 11th is Cow Appreciation Day. If you dress up the kids and yourself as cows, you get free food!! So…make it an event and do it!  Cut out some black spots, stick them on a white tee-shirt, make some cow ears with your kids and your golden.  This is cheap fun and a great way to make a memory.   July 11th is Cow Appreciation Day

Fort Moultrie – The lesser known fort that doesn’t get the attention of Fort Sumter is a lot of fun too! Another plus is that you don’t have to pay for the water taxi! My kids loved exploring the tunnels and singing and making their voices echo.  If you have history lovers, or even if you don’t, they will like this adventure. GO!

Fun Children's Activities in Charleston, SC - Fort Moultrie Fun Children's Activities in Charleston, SC

Go to a Free Concert– Our favorite ones happen during the month of June at Party in the Park  at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park  (Remember  this for next year)!

Fun with Kids in Charleston, SC

Outdoor Movie – Go see an Outdoor Movie as a Family! Two options are close by, Johns Island shows movie every week and Wannamaker Park shows them every couple of weeks. Lots of fun family movies are going to be shown throughout the summer.  Nothing says summertime like eating outdoors, enjoying a fun movie as a family!

  1. Outdoor Movie on Johns Island   – Grab a beach chair or blanket, pack a picnic and head to the Village Green at Freshfields Village for Starlight Cinema, a free outdoor movies series. Beginning May 28, Starlight Cinema will take place every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. until August 27.
  2.  Wannamaker Park  Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket, and join us for a movie night under the stars. Movies begin just after sunset, around 8pm.  Next one is July 12th, The Little Mermaid!

Get Wet!  Everyone knows it is HOT in Charleston this time of year, so head over to the Wannamaker Park Splash Pad to cool down. The Wannamaker Park Splash Pad  is a great place for the younger crowd (and not so young) to cool off and have fun in the sprinklers.  It’s only $1/person. Makes for a fun morning. Bring a picnic lunch and then head home for nap time! 🙂

Fun with Kids in Charleston, SC

Wish that you lived in Summerville or Charleston, SC so you could do these things? Give me a call at 1-843-974-6029 or email Foster@HomesofSummerville.com and I can help you find a home for sale in Summerville or the Charleston, SC Area.

Living in Summerville, SC was one of the best decisions we ever made for our family!

 

 

Summerville SC Ranked one of the top 20 safest cities in South Carolina

I was not surprised to read on Safewise that Summerville had ranked as one of the top 20 safest towns in South Carolina.

Downtown Summerville in Full Bloom

Downtown Summerville in Full Bloom

“Summerville is a rare find. Dubbed “Flowertown in the Pines” Summerville is a mere 20 minutes from lively Charleston, and an easy drive to the region’s many beaches. It’s surrounded by gorgeous plantations, wildlife and nature preserves and boasts superior schools…” (Taken from Safewise)

Azalea Park in Summerville SC

Azalea Park in Summerville SC

 

Being among the safest towns in South Carolina is one of the many reasons people are drawn to our lovely town of Summerville.  It caters to those retiring in Summerville,  families with children, and people in all walks of life.  The Summerville Real Estate market is becoming more and more balanced and we are seeing home values returning.  If you are interested in learning more about the Summerville market or selling your Summerville home, please contact me at 1-843-974-6029 or Foster@HomesofSummerville.com.

 

 

Things to do with Children in Summerville -Middleton Gardens

Middleton Place - Summerville SCIf you are moving to Summerville, SC, Middleton Gardens is something to get very excited about!   When my children were young, this was one of their favorite places to visit and take a picnic.    Between the sheep roaming the grounds, the gorgeous peacock in the live stable yard, and the skilled artisans at work, we all felt like we had stepped back in time.

Middleton Place - Summerville SC

Living in Summerville, South Carolina has many perks: beautiful weather, proximity to the ocean, gorgeous scenery, but the history of Summerville and the land that surrounds it is really an under appreciated perk!  Whenever I sell a home for sale in Summerville, SC or talk to people about Summerville, SC real estate, I make sure they know about this aspect of living in the Charleston area.

Middleton Place - Summerville SC

Middleton Place is one of these historic landmarks that I am talking about.  It is home to America’s oldest Landscaped Gardens and there is something blooming, literally all year round!  The home on the grounds of Middleton was built in 1755 and has a museum with historic antiquities on display.  Something my kids thought was really interesting when they were studying the Revolutionary War was the fact that Middleton was the birthplace of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence!

 

Middleton Place - Summerville SCHistory aside, I hope your children will enjoy something mine always did….the huge hill that ended at the Butterfly Lakes.  (Two identical lakes that look like butterfly wings.)  The races would go on forever, rolling, running, skipping all happened with great excitement from my four kiddos.

Butterfly Lakes at Middleton Gardens

If you have just moved to Summerville, or are planning to move to Summerville, SC make sure you put Middleton Gardens on your to-do list.   With something blooming all year, you are sure to enjoy a great time!

View Homes for Sale in Summerville, SC or Historic Homes for Sale in Summerville, SC at www.HomesofSummerville.com.  Don’t hesitate to call 1-843-974-6029 or email me at Foster@HomesofSummerville.com with any questions you may have about the Summerville & Charleston, SC area.

Middleton Place 5 (1)