The 411 On Upfront Costs Of Buying A Home

Upfront Costs of Buying a home | Myrtle Beach

When saving to buy a home, it helps to have a checklist of all of the upfront costs of buying a home to make sure you have enough set aside. There can be variation in how much you’ll need depending on the area, type of loan or loan program, and the buying process in your state. For example, some states require a real estate attorney for the transaction while others require transactions be handled by the title company. Here is an overview of the upfront costs you’ll want to plan for when buying your next home:

Earnest Money
Earnest money is usually submitted with your offer, and demonstrates the buyer’s sincere interest in buying the home. Earnest money is generally from 1-3% of the price in your offer. If the seller accepts your offer, your earnest money becomes part of your down payment.

Down Payment
Your down payment will be a percentage of the total purchase price, typically between 3% and 20%. Some lenders or special loan programs offer better terms for higher percentage down payments. For many buyers, the closer you can get to 20%, the better your chances of getting the best terms from your lender.

Inspection
The buyer is required to pay for the inspection. The cost of an inspection can vary depending on area/location, size of home and property, and if you request special evaluations like a termite evaluation. The average cost of an inspection is from $300-$500. Your buyer’s agent will be able to give you more exact information about the cost of inspections in your market.

Closing Costs
Closing costs are due on the day of closing and generally include things like tax payments, title expenses, real estate attorney fees, mortgage processing fees, and handling or administration costs. The amount you’ll need for closing costs varies by market/area and the price of the home. A general guideline is to plan for closing costs to be from 2-5% of the total purchase price.

Moving Fees & Pre-Move Remodeling
If you plan to do any remodeling that is easier before move-in, such as installing new flooring or repainting much of the interior, you’ll want to add that to your up-front budget. Also, make sure to include costs of moving, whether you’ll be doing the heavy lifting yourself or hiring movers.

Cash Reserves
Some lenders and types of loan programs may require buyers to have a certain amount of cash in reserve to approve a loan. When cash reserves are required for loan approval, the amount is usually between 2 to 6 months of mortgage payments.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone that can quickly become stressful if you haven’t saved enough to cover upfront costs. Your buyer’s agent can provide more exact advice for your market on how much you’ll need. Planning appropriately for the upfront costs of buying a home helps you have a smoother buying experience.

Neighborhood Spotlight: 3 Grand Strand Neighborhoods for Retirement

Grand Strand Neighborhoods

The Grand Strand area is a top retirement destination for buyers. The warm climate, variety of activities and attractions, and reasonable cost of living appeal to those who have no intention of slowing down after retirement. Here are 3 Grand Strand neighborhoods for 55+ young at heart buyers.

Cresswind at The Market Common
Located in Myrtle Beach in the popular Market Common area, Cresswind has been named one of the Top 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the U.S. by Where to Retire Magazine. Homes in this neighborhood are priced from $250,000-$350,000 and are currently being built in a second phase of the development. The amenities include fitness center, ballroom, pool, spa, tennis courts, outdoor fireplaces, water features, a 5-acre park, miles of nature trails for walking, and courts for horseshoes, pickle, and bocce ball. There is always plenty to do with planned classes, activities, and group trips – and of course, everything nearby at The Market Common.

Seasons at Prince Creek
Nestled in Murrels Inlet is the gated community of Seasons at Prince Creek. The community has an impressive number of amenities for residents, including several lakes, the Blackmoor Golf Course, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court, bocce ball court, and clubhouse featuring a ballroom, card room, game room, media room, wet bar, library, and an outdoor veranda. Homes in Seasons at Prince Creek range from $250,000 to $400,000+.

Del Webb Myrtle Beach at Grande Dunes
Currently under construction along the Intracoastal Waterway is Del Webb Myrtle Beach at Grande Dunes. Prices start in the high $200,000s and feature all newly constructed homes. Active residents in this community enjoy access to the amenities of the larger Grande Dunes community, such as the 130-boat slip Grande Dunes Marina, and golf courses. Del Webb features its own clubhouse, fitness center, pool, and beach access at Residents Only Ocean Club. Within walking distance of this neighborhood, residents can enjoy a 3+ acre off-leash dog park, and the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA. Del Webb will also have a full-time lifestyle director to ensure residents have the most enjoyable retired life on the Grand Strand.

For buyers who are looking for a community of like-minded retirees, these 3 great retirement neighborhoods are must-see!  Contact a Century 21 Broadhurst agent today!  We’ve been making our clients #1 since 1974.

Oceanfront Condos: Affordable Oceanfront Living in Myrtle Beach

Oceanfront Living Myrtle Beach

If you’re looking for oceanfront living, the Myrtle Beach area is possibly one of the most affordable oceanfront markets on the east coast. Aside from amazing views of the Atlantic, an oceanfront condo offers resort-style amenities and other perks to live like you’re on vacation every day.

Oceanfront Condo Options
Oceanfront condos for sale along the Grand Strand are generally located in resorts, of which there are a few dozen along this part of the coast. These resorts have a mix of resort-owned vacation units, owner-occupied units, long-term rental units, and vacation rental (by owner) units. Much of the time, oceanfront condos are sold pre-furnished. The size and number of bedrooms available varies by property, however can range from efficiency units or studios through three-bedroom units. The primary difference between an efficiency unit and a studio is the kitchen. Most efficiency units have a mini-kitchen or kitchenette instead of a full-sized kitchen. Studios usually have a full-sized kitchen. Efficiency units are also less likely to have washer and dryer in unit or have hook-ups for them. Many people who purchase efficiency units use them as vacation rental units.

Typical Amenities
One of the biggest perks of living in an oceanfront condo is the range of amenities available to you every day. Most resorts have multiple pools on-site (both indoor and outdoor), lazy rivers and water parks, hot tubs, fitness centers, on-site spas, restaurants, bars/lounges, ice cream shops, coffee shops, sports courts, playgrounds, game rooms, and a few even have a bowling alley. Most resorts offer free wireless internet and cable television service to all residents and visitors.

Myrtle Beach Area Oceanfront Condos
While there are dozens of resort properties offering oceanfront condos for sale, here are a few of the super affordable options you’ll find along the Grand Strand with a good amenities list and a stunning view of the Atlantic.

  • Bay Watch Resort – Offers studios through three-bedroom units that range in price from $70,000 to $275,000.
  • BlueWater Resort – Efficiency through two-bedroom units available at price points from $70,000 to $160,000.
  • Caravelle Resort – Units available are efficiency or one bedroom and sell for $50,000 to $130,000.
  • Coral Beach Resort – Offers efficiency units and one-bedroom units priced from $80,000 to $140,000.
  • Landmark Resort – All units are either efficiency or one bedroom and sell from $45,000 to $150,000.
  • Long Bay Resort – Available units range from one bedroom to three bedrooms and priced from $70,000 to $270,000.
  • Monterey Bay Suites – All units are one-bedroom units and range in cost from $85,000 to $200,000.
  • Myrtle Beach Resort – Offers studio units through two-bedroom units at price points ranging from $60,000 to $200,000.
  • Sand Dunes Resort – Studio units through three-bedroom units available for sale from $70,000 to $375,000.

Is an oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach the right choice for you? If resort-style living and plenty of perks sound like the lifestyle you’re looking for, your Century 21 Broadhurst agent is your guide to the best oceanfront options in town.

 

5 Ways To Make Your Offer Stand Out

Make Your Offer Stand Out | Myrtle Beach Home buyers

In a rebounding real estate market, it’s common for sellers to receive multiple offers. With so much competition for the same homes, you want to make your offer stand out. Here are 5 tips to help your offer stand out from the crowd:

1. Offer the right price – Do your homework and check area comps and pricing analysis on the neighborhood and market the home you’d like to buy is in. If you have a buyer’s agent (highly recommended), your agent will have much of this data at their fingertips and help in the process of figuring out the best priced offer to make.

2. Keep repair request discussions positive – In most cases, sellers are not required to make repairs. But what if your mortgage lender requires certain repairs prior to approving your loan (common with some types of loans, such as VA loans)? If the seller knows that the lender is requiring the repairs to proceed, they’ll be less likely to dismiss your requests. Even better – have your buyer’s agent negotiate repair requests with the seller’s agent.

3. Be realistic about demands – In a seller’s market, demands like seller covering the entirety of closing costs or giving price concessions for special items or fixes are unlikely to go well. Demand too much and the seller can just wait for or choose a different buyer. You and your agent may have to get creative to keep demands reasonable such as rolling the closing costs into the sale price of the home. Just be careful not to exceed the appraisal value or you risk your loan being rejected by the lender.

4. Consider carefully when choosing an older home – Before placing an offer, really check out the home for signs of disrepair or neglect in the up-keep of the property. If the condition of the home will reduce the appraisal value, you want make sure to consider that when deciding on an offer price. If your offer exceeds what the home appraises for, the lender will reject the loan and you’ll stand out in the wrong way.

5. Share about yourself with the seller – Many sellers have sentimental memories in the home they’re leaving behind. Sharing with the seller through a letter or email (which can be sent through your agent also) about yourself and your family, what you love about the home, where you’re moving from, what makes the home a perfect fit for you, how long you’ve been searching, and why you chose the home can assure the seller that you are a buyer who will cherish the home just as much as they did.

Buyers face fierce competition in today’s real estate market. When sellers typically receive multiple offers, you want to make yours shines the brightest. These tips, along with an experienced buyer’s agent from Century 21 Broadhurst, will help your offer get noticed.

Is Your Myrtle Beach Home Hurricane-Ready?

Myrtle Beach Home Safety | Hurricane Preparedness

The peak of hurricane season is upon us and activity in the Atlantic Ocean has been extremely active with some of the biggest storms we’ve ever seen.  Thankfully, the Grand Strand was spared most of the wrath of Irma.  But, hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 here, so we still may see more activity before this year’s hurricane season is over.  The time to prepare your home for a hurricane is long before a storm is heading our way.  Is your home ready for a hurricane? If not, the time to prepare is right now. Here are some tips to help you make sure your Myrtle Beach home is as prepared as possible for hurricane weather:

  • Have hurricane shutters installed for every window of your home. If this is too costly, a back-up option is to get marine plywood at least 1/2 inch thick in pieces cut to fit each window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches or so along the edge of each piece of plywood and pre-install anchors around the corresponding window for fast and easy installation in the event of a storm. Hint: Label each piece of plywood for which window it fits so you aren’t trying to match them up with a storm bearing down.
  • Trim all trees and shrubbery near the home to prevent branches from damaging your home. Also remove dead branches or weak branches that could easily break off and become dangerous flying projectiles. Remove all of the trimmings from the property – don’t leave them piled up where hurricane winds can turn them into airborne hazards.
  • Bring in all patio furniture, bird feeders, lawn decorations and other items in your yard that could be blown by the wind and become damaging debris. If you can’t bring something in, make sure it is tied down extremely well to a sturdy structure or object that is unlikely to be damaged in the storm.
  • Install hurricane straps, if available in your area. Hurricane straps are designed to help secure the roof and walls to each other to strengthen resistance to wind.
  • Install head bolts and foots bolts on doors for extra reinforcement to keep doors closed securely during high force winds.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electric devices or appliances and put the necessary ones on high-grade surge protectors. If the power goes out, there may be a strong surge when it is restored that can damage your devices or appliances. Also, charge up all hand-held devices like cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, iPods, weather radios, hand-held games and also charge up extra rechargable batteries for any of these items. As an extra precaution, make sure you know where the main utility and power shut offs are for your home.
  • If there will be vehicles at the home, store them in a garage, if possible. If garage space is not available, store vehicles on the lee side of the home (the side where your car will be most sheltered from winds by the building) and away from as many trees and shrubs as possible.  Our coastal regions are also prone to flooding, and vehicles can be totaled in a flood.
  • Use your cell phone to take video or photos of your home and possessions, in case you need documentation for insurance claims later. Upload the video footage or photos to Google Drive or other cloud-based storage and email it to a family member in a non-impacted area. This ensures you don’t use your documentation if your cell phone gets damaged.
  • Ensure all important paperwork and documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, bank information and other difficult or impossible to replace documents are secured safely in water-safe packaging or containers. If you are not evacuating, store this container in a high-up yet storm-safe place. If you are evacuating, you’ll take this with you.
  • Make sure you are familiar with all evacuation routes closest to your home, know where shelters will be set up, make arrangements for your furry and feathered family members in case they are not permitted at a shelter (NEVER leave pets behind at home if you evacuate) and follow instructions from local officials. If you are ordered to evacuate, please do so!

At Century 21 Broadhurst, our clients and their safety during a hurricane or major storm event is of the utmost importance to us. We’ve provided a list of things you can do to prepare your home for a hurricane – things you should do right now – because it is better to be prepared and not use those preparations than to need them and not have them. Lastly, please follow the orders of local authorities and don’t attempt to ride out a storm when an evacuation is ordered. The lives and safety of you and your family are too important to risk.

 

 

Construction Litigation: Protect Yourself From Shady Builders & Contractors

Construction Litigation Myrtle Beach

A newly-built home is a dream come true for many people. Few places have as many opportunities to buy a newly-constructed home as the Myrtle Beach area. New homes in Myrtle Beach are going up in seemingly record time. With so much new construction happening and the demand for builders and materials so high, there is also more opportunity for less-than-honest contractors and builders to engage in shady practices such as cutting corners to speed up the build, swapping out cheaper and sub-par materials in place of the quality materials you’re paying for and skipping the little details that can have a big impact on the integrity of your home. What can you do if this happens to you?

What is Construction Forensics?
Forensics, in general, refers to investigating, testing or gathering evidence, and documenting details – often to determine the cause of a problem or situation. Construction forensics experts apply forensics principles to structures and construction projects. They often work with attorneys and can provide expert testimony for court cases. If there is a potential problem with your newly-built home, a construction forensics consultant will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if there has been wrong-doing on the part of the builder. Construction forensics experts use a variety of diagnostics, testing and assessments to find and document substandard construction practices or materials, these may include:

  • Moisture mapping
  • Air and water infiltration testing
  • Infrared thermal imaging
  • Roof uplift resistance testing
  • Design defect or omission investigation
  • Structural integrity evaluation
  • Construction quality control assessment

 

Once all of the testing and evaluation is complete, the construction forensics expert prepares a comprehensive report of all findings that is provided to the homeowner and their attorney for use in construction litigation.

What is Construction Litigation?
If you find yourself the victim of an unscrupulous builder or contractor who has used subpar materials, used defective design, or has otherwise provided poor construction, you’ll want to contact an attorney or firm experienced in construction litigation immediately. There are time limitations on filing claims so time is of the essence. Poorly done construction is not only expensive and emotionally upsetting, but it can also pose a risk to the integrity of your home leading to property damage and compromising the safety of you and your family. Here are some of the common construction issues that construction litigators handle:

  • Defective roofing
  • Siding defects resulting in water intrusion and mold
  • Inferior design, materials or workmanship
  • Defective doors or windows
  • Water and humidity in areas like crawl spaces, storage spaces and attics
  • Termite infestations (after remediation or when remediation is refused)
  • Violation of building codes and failure to pass inspections
  • Warranty claims
  • Landscaping problems, improper grading and inadequate drainage

A newly-constructed home can quickly shift from dream come true to living nightmare if you are the victim of a shady contractor or builder. However, you do have options to force them to get it right or recover financial compensation to pay a separate reputable party to fix the problems. An experienced construction litigator and construction forensics expert are there to document all of the issues and help you get satisfactory resolution for construction defects.

Spotlight on 3 Popular Grand Strand Neighborhoods

Grand Strand Neighborhoods

Looking for a new home in the Myrtle Beach area? Here are three of the hottest Grand Strand neighborhoods to consider.  Your Century 21 Broadhurst agent can help you find the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle.

The Farm in Carolina Forest
The Farm is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the Carolina Forest community. One of the reasons for this popularity is the range of housing options available, including individual houses, townhomes and condos. Along with this range of options comes a range of price points, starting around $160K for condos and townhomes through houses up to $350K. The Farm offers a number of desired amenities that buyers love, such as two very large resort style pools, farm-style clubhouse, fitness center, basketball courts and bike paths. Add in the white picket fences and touches of country farm chic throughout the neighborhood and it’s easy to see why buyers are so charmed by The Farm.

Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach
On the north end of the Grand Strand is the blazing hot neighborhood of Barefoot Resort. Like The Farm, Barefoot Resort offers a range of housing types, with villas and townhomes from around $100K to $300K and houses ranging from around $180K to $1.2 million. The amenities at Barefoot Resort are a golf lover’s dream with four full golf courses designed by pro golfers, such as Greg Norman, with a massive 40,000 sq. ft. golf club for members with a top-notch restaurant and pro shop included. Residents also have access to a deep-water marina with a dry dock and boat shuttle service. The community includes a relaxing water complex with swimming pools and private cabanas available and for those who prefer the beach instead, there are private beach cabanas as well. A state-of-the-art fitness center and full-service spa round out an enticing set of amenities that make home feel like vacation. With so much to offer, buyers will want to keep Barefoot Resort on their must-see list.

The Reserve in Pawleys Island
Heading to the south side of the Grand Strand, buyers are falling in love with The Reserve in the laid-back “arrogantly shabby” community of Pawleys Island. Beyond the entry gates of The Reserve are a range of homes priced from $350K through $2 million. The majority of the homes in this neighborhood are traditional style or low country style architecture. Residents enjoy a wide array of amenities including a private golf course designed by Greg Norman, a semi-private marina called The Reserve Harbor, private beach access, fishing and crabbing docks, relaxing community pool, tennis courts and biking trails. Buyers looking for the epitome of quaint beach life with love The Reserve in Pawleys Island.

 

2017 Fall Festivals on the Grand Strand

Fall Festivals Grand Strand

Along the Grand Strand, fall is the season of the festival. It might be great food, live music, unique vendors, dancing or just a big dose of tradition, but no matter the reason, locals love a great festival. Whether you’re a newly-settled local or a born and raised area native, here are some of the best fests this fall.

September 16: The Aynor Hoe-Down in the city of Aynor – This harvest festival is known for its lively annual parade, music, food, vendors and tons of excitement for the whole family.

September 22-24: The Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival at Huntington Beach State Park – This family-friendly festival is celebrating its 42nd year with live music, food, and more than 100 unique vendors.

September 28-October 1: The 25th Annual St. John’s Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Church – Enjoy authentic Greek food, dancing, games, vendors, live music and more (not to mention amazing baklava). Opa!

September 30: The 14th Annual Irish Italian International Festival in North Myrtle Beach – What’s better than a great Irish festival? An Irish AND Italian festival! This all-ages festival is a real international experience, no passport required!

October 8: The 18th Annual Lip-Rippin’ Chilympics Chili Cook Off in Murrells Inlet – This is the chili-lovers’ event of the year! The Chilympics features some of the most original and interesting chili concoctions you will ever taste. From traditional to crazy spicy to totally unusual, the Chilimasters at this cook off competition will tingle your taste buds. This event is family friendly and includes a kids area with face painting and (weather permitting) bounce houses or other outdoor fun. All proceeds of this event benefit the Grand Strand Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to protect our oceans and beaches. Stop by the Surfrider Foundation booth while you’re there to learn how you can get involved and make a difference!

October 14-15: The 13th Annual Little River Shrimp Festival in Little River – A festival celebrating fresh shrimp and other delish local fresh-caught culinary gems of the sea is a seafood lover’s dream. Add a fun family atmosphere, music, vendors and maybe some more fresh seafood, and this is one festival you’ll want to put on your calendar right now. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

October 17: The 34th Annual Taste of the Town at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center from 4PM to 10PM – While not a festival in the traditional sense, this event is a great opportunity to sample offerings from tons of Grand Strand restaurants and eateries. Stop by and grab a nibble from your favorites or be adventurous and find some new favorites to dazzle your taste buds. Sample some new sips at the beer and wine garden for an unforgettable evening. P.S. To really enjoy this event to its fullest, you might want to hire a babysitter for the kiddos and make it a great date night out.

October 21: The 38th Annual Loris Bog-Off in Loris – Every year, locals turn out in droves for the Loris Bog-Off. If you’re a newly-settled local, you might be wondering what the heck is a Bog-Off? It’s a culinary showdown featuring the mighty chicken bog. What’s a chicken bog? If you want to know, you’ve got to go! This family-friendly event also features live music and a one-of-a-kind car and tractor show.

Fall is festival season down here along the Grand Strand. We don’t have a special festival for *everything* but we sure try! Come out and meet some new friends, sample some great eats and new brews, dance with the music and soak up everything this year’s fantastic fall festival season has to offer.

 

3 Top Reasons To Retire In Myrtle Beach

Retire in Myrtle Beach

If upcoming retirement has you thinking “Myrtle Beach,” you are in good company. Often cited as one of the top places to retire in the U.S., Myrtle Beach and the surrounding Grand Strand has much to offer retirees and their families (because you know they’ll want to visit).

Reasonable Taxes
Taxes can make or break a budget, especially for those living on a fixed income. Taxes in the Myrtle Beach area are fairly reasonable, in general. Specifically, property taxes are lower than many other areas and older adult homeowners qualify for a homestead exemption that makes owning a home here more affordable. In addition, the state of South Carolina doesn’t tax Social Security income and provides a helpful retirement-income deduction when calculating taxes owed to the state.

Great Climate
The Grand Strand has a sub-tropical climate, with warm weather most of the year. The chill only hits for about six weeks or so on average, which means more days per year for outdoor fun like golf, boating, fishing, and visiting the beach. Put one more plus in the Myrtle Beach column!

Retiree-Friendly Activities
The Myrtle Beach area is packed with retiree-friendly activities to keep your social calendar full of unique experiences. With more than 100 golf courses and over 60 miles of beautiful beaches, those are the most obvious attractions for active adults. However, there is so much more to see and do from Little River all the way down through Pawleys Island including, historic sites, gardens, museums, zoos, performing arts, community events, bicycling clubs, Shag dancing, dining, shopping, volunteer opportunities, religious organizations, birdwatching, fishing, and boating–just to name a few.

There are so many reasons why people want to retire in Myrtle Beach, and it’s so much more than sun and sand. If you’re ready to begin exploring for your retirement in the Myrtle Beach area, call Century 21 Broadhurst to start planning your next chapter of adventures.

Mid 2017 Myrtle Beach Real Estate Trends

Myrtle Beach real estate trends

The Myrtle Beach area is a fairly unique housing market, with a surprising number of options and benefits. Here are the latest Myrtle Beach real estate trends to keep you in-the-know.

Trends in Home Pricing
Home prices are rising across the country, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that home values are rising along the Grand Strand as well. However, the trend for rising home prices in the Myrtle Beach market is more slow and steady, compared to other markets that have experienced steep and dramatic increases. This steady and more gradual rise in home prices has kept home ownership within reach for many looking to buy.

Trends in Housing Type
While many markets are experiencing inventory shortages that leave buyers with less options in the type of housing available to buy, the Myrtle Beach market still has plenty of options to choose from. Homebuyers looking in this area can choose from town homes/condos, established homes in older neighborhoods, brand new homes in new construction neighborhoods, and even land lots for those who want to plan out every detail of their new dream home. The Myrtle Beach market also offers a unique mixture of features and views, such as golf course views, lake views, oceanfront, and along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Trends in Education
Research shows proximity to top-notch schools can significantly increase home value appreciation over time and the Myrtle Beach real estate market is a clear winner with this trend, featuring a number of top-rated schools. Just some of these great schools can be found in the communities of Carolina Forest, Forestbrook, Myrtle Beach, Socastee, Surfside Beach and Murrell’s Inlet.

Trends in Days on Market
The Myrtle Beach market performs pretty well on this trend also, with the median days on the market for an average home sale trending less than three months, in most area communities.

The Myrtle Beach real estate market is a real trend-setter. Great schools, quick sales, lots of housing options, and steadily rising home prices make this market a top contender for anyone looking to buy a home. For more on the statistics and Myrtle Beach real estate trends, call on one of our knowledgeable agents at Century 21 Broadhurst as your guide.