Columbia Real Estate Tools
The 9 Steps to Home Ownership in Columbia, SC
Step - 1 Make the Decision to Buy - It seems obvious, but it's good to note that the first step to buying a Columbia house is making the decision to buy. Consider the reasons you want a new house and write them down. Determine how long you want to live in the new house - does buying still make good financial sense? Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements? A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.
Five good reasons to sell your Columbia home during the holidays
Contrary to popular belief, buyers shop for homes all year round, including the holiday season. In fact, sellers who put their homes on the Columbia market during the holiday season (roughly between November and January) may have an advantage because there are fewer houses on the market so there's less competition. There are several other reasons to consider putting your home on the market during the holidays.
Columbia Loan Application Checklist
For many Columbia buyers, applying for the mortgage loan is one of the more stressful aspects of buying a home. The loan application need not be a stressful time. By following a few easy steps, you'll sail through the loan application process.
Make sure your Columbia home is easy to show!
To get your Columbia home sold quickly, itâ€™s important that other agents in the area show it to as many potential buyers as possible. The first thing a good agent will do when working with buyers is talk to the buyer and learn what kind of home they are looking for. Then the agent will search all the available Columbia homes for those most closely matching what the buyer wants. Next, the agent puts together a list of the best matches to go show to the buyer. When a busy agent is compiling a list of homes to show a buyer, the agent will naturally tend to show those houses that are easiest to gain access to first. Many homes on the market have â€ślock boxesâ€ť on them. The lock box is a device which holds a key to the home, that only qualified local agents can access. Homes that are listed as being â€ślock box, no appointment neededâ€ť will get shown more often than homes listed as â€śagent has key, call for appointmentâ€ť. If at all possible, you should let your agent put a lock box on your home for easier showing.
Columbia Bi-Weekly Mortgages
If you search for "bi-weekly mortgage" with an Internet search engine, you will be overwhelmed by the number of Columbia companies offering "Bi-weekly Mortgage Reduction Services" or "Bi-weekly Savings Programs." Beware, you are entering dangerous waters.
Buying bank owned Columbia properties
There is a lot of interest in buying bank owned Columbia properties these days. A lot of information, some good and some bad, is floating around about the subject. Often the information offered is for sale, with the promise that you can make a lot of money with little effort once you know â€śthe secret formulaâ€ť. The fact is that there are no secrets, and to make money does require effort.
Closing Costs in Columbia SC
There are certain standard costs associated with closing the sale of a Columbia house. These fees are split between the buyer and the seller, as spelled out in the sales contract.
Columbia Insurance Closing Costs
Homeowner's Insurance - This insurance covers replacement costs on your Columbia home for damages caused by fire, wind or other disaster that might affect the value of the property. Typically, the insurance also includes personal liability and theft coverage.
Loan-Related Closing Costs in Columbia
Loan Origination Fee - This covers the administrative expenses in setting-up and processing the loan. The loan origination fee may be a percentage of the Columbia home mortgage amount.
Contingencies in Columbia real estate contracts
In Columbia real estate contracts the contingency is a common element. Contingencies are clauses in a contract that give either the buyer or seller a way to get out of the contract if certain conditions or timelines arenâ€™t met. A commonly used example is that of a buyer making an offer on a new home before selling his existing home. The buyer needs to sell his present home before being able to get financing on the new one. So he makes his offer contingent upon the sale of his existing home. There will always be a time period associated with such a contingency. If the buyer is able to get his present home sold within that time period, the deal can go forward. But if he fails to sell within the specified time period, the seller has the option of getting out of the deal. In most cases, sellers wonâ€™t accept this kind of contingency, because they will most likely feel that they can find another buyer capable of closing the deal without needing to sell another home first. But new home builders are often willing to accept an offer contingent upon the sale of an existing home.
Creative Financing in Columbia SC
Columbia Seller Financing - As the seller, you have the option of financing the buyer's purchase with the equity you have in the property. You can finance part or the entire mortgage for the buyer. Before setting-up a private mortgage, it is wise to consult with your attorney.
Columbia Curb Appeal Checklist
Inspect the outside grounds of your Columbia home. Remove any building materials, scrap wood, discarded household items, etc. from the property. Store garbage cans in the garage.
Verifying Your Columbia Home Down Payment, Closing Costs, Assets, Income and Debts
A critical step in the mortgage loan application of your Columbia home process is to verify the sources for your down payment, closing costs and assets, as well as documenting income and debts. The lender uses this step to determine your qualifications as a borrower.
Environmental Issues in Columbia SC
It seems that we hear a lot about environmental concerns these days in Columbia SC. Much of it is simply the result of a greater awareness than in the past. And even though there isn't anything to be concerned with in most Columbia homes, there are still a number of potential home environmental issues that Columbia buyers should be aware of.
Ethics in Columbia Real Estate
As your Columbia agent, I promise to adhere to a strict code of ethics in conducting any and all activities related to your sale or purchase of a Columbia home. In some businesses, simply doing what is legal may be good enough. But in my Columbia real estate practice I demand an ethical standard that goes above and beyond the legal requirements. The guiding principle of ethics comes from the Latin primum non nocere, meaning first do no harm. By adhering to strict ethical guidelines I will earn your trust. By establishing trust I'll build a long term business model based on long term clients.\
Housing Finance Agencies provided by Columbia Real Estate
A state by state list of housing finance agencies in the United States.
I can find your Columbia Dream Home!
As an expert on Columbia area real estate, I keep track of every home for sale in the area. In many instances, I know of Columbia homes that aren't yet listed on the area Multiple Listings Service (MLS). If you will fill out the form on the following page with as many details as possible, I will search my data for homes that meet your needs and budget. Then I'll send you the information, free of charge!
First-time Columbia Homebuyers
Your decision to buy a Columbia home is both a sound financial decision and a commendable achievement. As your real estate agent, I will lead you through every step of the exciting home buying process.
Fixer-uppers in Columbia SC
The oft heard phrase "Buyer Beware" is never more appropriate than when considering the purchase of a fixer-upper in Columbia SC. You really need to know exactly what youâ€™re getting into before buying.
Flowers add instant curb appeal to your Columbia Home
The experts all agree that curb appeal is one of the most important aspects to consider when selling your Columbia home. When selling, it's the appearance from the street that will very often determine whether potential buyers come in to see the inside, or never get out of their cars.
Why you should choose me to be your Columbia Buyer's Agent
For most families, choosing a new home in Columbia SC is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. There are many complicated decisions involved in choosing your new home. To protect your interests and assure that you make the best possible decisions, it's important that you have an agent on your side who is an expert in the local real estate market.
How much is your Columbia home worth?
If you are thinking of selling your Columbia home, you'll need to know exactly what it is worth before putting it on the market. As a Columbia area real estate professional, I analyze home values and determine market prices every day. By comparing your home to recent sales and other similar homes in the Columbia market, I can quickly tell you what your home is worth. This analysis is known as "Comparative Market Analysis", or CMA. Just fill out the form to give me the information I need and I'll be glad to perform a CMA for your home and provide you the results for free.
Gated Communities in Columbia SC
The popularity of living in gated, or private communities in Columbia has been rising in recent years. It used to be that gated communities were thought of as being only for the rich. But today they are becoming more and more popular with middle and upper middle class families. Security is usually given as the biggest reason for choosing to live in a gated community. Among the other reasons people are attracted to living in these communities are protecting property values and lifestyle. Many Columbia gated communities are designed with amenities built around a particular lifestyle, with golf courses, tennis, swimming pools, or equestrian facilities. Gated communities are usually located on some of the most desirable land in the area. Prime land, combined with careful planning and HOA rules create an environment where Columbia home values hold up extremely well.
Take Advantage of Loan Pre-Qualification in Columbia
A number of factors determine the price range of Columbia homes you'll want to preview - one of these factors is loan pre-qualification.
Getting the Best Price for Your Columbia Home
Effective marketing is the key to selling your Columbia home quickly and getting the highest price. Aggressive, effective marketing of my Client's homes by every available medium is how I've become a top real estate agent in the Columbia area. It's my job to assure that you get as many qualified offers as possible, allowing you to extract the highest price the market will bear.
The Heart of the Matter in Columbia SC
At times I feel torn between playing cupid (helping you find a house to fall in love with) and your accountant (finding a house that you can afford). Buying a home is both a matter of the heart and the pocketbook. One really does not outweigh the other. As your Columbia real estate agent, I'll help you find a happy balance between the two.
Save money during the holidays and buy that Columbia dream house in the New Year
The holidays can put a dent in your savings especially if you're planning to buy a Columbia home. But there are several ways to cut costs so your finances aren't in the red by New Year's Day.
Avoid Holiday Theft in Columbia
Although we'd like to believe the holidays bring out peace on earth and good will towards men in Columbia SC, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day tend to be a prime season for criminals. During this busy time of year, you can take some easy precautions to prevent becoming a victim of theft.
Understanding Columbia real estate appreciation
Columbia Real estate appreciation refers to an increase in value of your home and the property. When your property "appreciates" you have greater equity against which to borrow, and you realize a greater profit when you sell. Property values fluctuate regularly for many different reasons, so how do you know the home youâ€™re buying is going to appreciate over the years?
Columbia Home Buyer Checklist
The Columbia Home Buyer Checklist identifies some of the important factors to consider when choosing a home. In addition to an affordable sales price, you will also want to be sure that the neighborhood and house meet the needs of your family.
Columbia Homeowner warranties
A home warranty pays repair or replacement costs for the mechanical systems and built-in appliances that break down in the home. Warranties can be purchased by either the buyer or seller. When the seller is paying for the warranty, it is usually paid for and goes into effect at closing. The coverage period is normally one year. There are a lot of companies offering home warranties and coverage of individual policies can vary widely. Usually, central heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and major appliances are covered. It's important that you read the policy closely and understand what is and is not covered. The cost for a one year home warranty typically runs between $300 and $600, depending on the size of the home and the specific types of coverage. In addition to the policy premium, there is normally a deductible of $50 - $75 to pay when making a repair claim.
How Escrow Works brought to you by Columbia Real Estate
Escrow - To finalize the sale of your Columbia home a neutral, third party (the escrow holder, a.k.a. escrow agent) is engaged to assure the transaction will close properly and on time. The escrow holder insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are met prior to the sale being finalized, including receiving funds and documents, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you clear title to your property before the purchase price is fully paid.
Which Columbia home improvements give the best payback?
If youâ€™re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, or finishing your basement, you probably want to get your investment back when you sell your Columbia home. But when it comes to payback value of home improvements, some are definitely more profitable than others. As a general rule, kitchen and bathroom projects usually get a nice return on investment, typically 90% or more.Things like adding rooms or finishing basements tend to pay back the least. Finishing a basement usually returns less than 50%, so itâ€™s not a project likely to show profit at selling time.
Tips on Reading your Columbia Home Inspection Report
When interviewing a home inspector, ask the inspector what type of report format he or she provides. There are many styles of reports used by property inspectors, including the checklist, computer generated using inspection programs, and the narrative style.
Warning! This Columbia house could be hazardous to your health!
Youâ€™d be hard pressed to sell a Columbia home with such a label attached to it. And yet, many older homes in the United States might qualify. You see, prior to 1978, paints and other products containing lead were widely used in homes and offices. Chipping and peeling paint can expose occupants to this hazardous material. In addition, many older plumbing systems utilized lead-based solder to join pipes. This lead can leech into the water, especially when running hot water. In certain areas, high concentrations of lead can even be found in the ground soil.