First Time Home Buyers
The Charleston real estate market is seeing a wave of first time buyers taking advantage of low prices and interest rates. If you’re currently renting a home in our local market you’ll find that renting is about the same price as buying due to the home prices and mortgage rates that we've seen so far this year.
You can learn more about our home building process on our website, or read below some of the most frequently asked questions we get from first time home buyers.
When should I talk with a lender?
We’ve partnered with some of the best lenders in Charleston in order to make financing your home as easy as possible. It’s important to get pre-approved before you start looking at homes so that you know what price range you should be using for your search. You don’t want to fall in love with a home that you can’t afford, which is why it’s so important to know your numbers before you look.
How do I know how much I can afford?
Don’t overextend yourself with your first home! If you’re currently renting, you’ll already know how comfortable you are paying a certain amount each month for housing costs. So, your rent amount is a good starting place for determining your monthly budget. Most lenders include taxes and insurance in their monthly mortgage payments, so in most cases an HOA fee and termite bond are the only additional costs you’ll be paying when you own a home versus renting a home. If you have any questions at all about mortgages – or if you want to get the specifics of how much you can afford based on your income, work history, and debt-to-income ratio – contact one of our preferred lenders!
Do you offer incentives for first time home buyers?
One great benefit of working with a builder is that we often offer incentives for our clients!
How long does it take to build a new home?
We’ve included all of the homes that are ready for move-in on our website. Most of these can close within 30 days. If you’re wanting to pick out your lot, floor plan, features, and upgrades, this process usually takes about 5 months.
How much money do I need to close on a new home?
After your contract has been ratified (meaning both the sellers and buyers have signed and agreed to the terms and price of the contract), you’ll write a check for an earnest money deposit. This amount will be placed in an escrow account and will be credited to you at closing. Usually earnest money deposits range from $1,000 to $3,000, but there is no standard amount. About a week later, you’ll also need to pay for a home inspection, which usually costs $300 to $350 depending on which inspector you choose. At closing, you’ll make a down payment that goes towards your home mortgage. This amount is usually 3-5% of the purchase price of your home. (Your lender will talk with you about different financing options and can recommend loans that require the lower end of this range.) Additional closing costs include an appraisal, attorney fees, origination fees, flood certification, and credit fees. Total, these generally make up about 3% of the purchase price of your home. (You can also ask the seller/builder to pay some of these closing costs.) Your lender will be able to estimate your down payment and closing costs based on which home you purchase. This way you’ll know approximate costs before you make an offer on your new home. You’ll need to bring this amount to closing either by wiring the funds or getting a certified check (this preference depends on the closing attorney). The bank you currently use for checking/savings should be able to wire the amount or print a certified check for you.
If you have more questions about the home buying process, call or contact us!