You've fallen for the charm of coastal living and are ready to buy real estate in Myrtle Beach. Whether your new purchase will be your first experience buying a home or your previous home buying experience was many years ago, there are a few steps every buyer will go through in the purchasing process. Here is a handy checklist to use when you're ready to buy real estate in Myrtle Beach.
Figure Out the Financials
- Budget - Your mortgage payment and related monthly home expenses should comprise no more than 30% to 35% of your monthly income. Use this number to determine the price range for your new home.
- Down Payment - The amount of your down payment will be based on the price range of the home you're looking for. A good rule of thumb for down payment is to get as close to 20% of the home price as possible if you plan to obtain a traditional mortgage.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval - At minimum, you'll want to be pre-approved by your desired mortgage lender for the price range of the home you'd like to purchase.
- Hire an Agent - Your search through the Myrtle Beach real estate market is best done with a buyer's agent. This real estate professional will be your guide to housing options that fit your budget and needs.
- Visit Selected Homes - Your real estate agent will show you a variety of homes they've selected that meet your requirements and budget. This process can take time but your agent will ensure you find just the right home for your family.
Make An Offer
- Review Comps and Make an Offer - When you find the home you'd like to buy, your agent will guide you in making a fair offer on your new home using recent sales prices on similar homes in the neighborhood (known as comps). Your agent will submit the offer to the seller's agent.
- Field Counter-Offers - Most times, the seller's agent will come back with a counter-offer for you to consider. Your agent will help you negotiate any counter-offers.
- Under Contract - Once you and the seller agree on a price, you'll both enter into a contract, pending the home passing inspection and appraisal. This puts the property into "Under Contract" status.
- Bring on the Lawyers - In South Carolina, a real estate attorney is usually brought into the process once the buyer and seller enter into a contract. At this point, you may be required to pay a portion of the down payment as earnest money or a good-faith deposit and a tentative closing date will be set (typically 30 to 60 days out).
Do Your Due Diligence
- Inspect Thoroughly - While your mortgage lender will order an appraisal on the property, it is up to the buyer to schedule and pay for an independent inspection. You always want to be present during the inspection. The inspector will take a thorough look at the condition of the home, electrical workings, HVAC system, structural condition, and make recommendations for any major issue that should be addressed before closing on the home.
- Seek Remedy - If the inspector finds any major problems, you'll want to seek the advice of your agent or lawyer on appropriate remedies to negotiate with the seller. Failure to do your due diligence by having an independent home inspection could cost you a lot in unexpected repairs that could have been addressed before closing.
Close The Deal
- Finalize the Financing - Once your mortgage lender signs off on the appraisal, you'll finalize your financing with them and the closing date will be confirmed.
- Walk Through - Prior to the closing, you'll do a final walk-through of the property to ensure any issues raised in the inspection that the seller agreed to remedy have been fixed. If all checks out, the next step is signing the closing paperwork.
- Completing the Purchase - For the closing, both parties will meet with the attorney handling the real estate transaction and sign all of the title, deed, settlement, and other paperwork required to complete the transaction.
Buying Myrtle Beach real estate doesn't need to be complicated if you know what steps to take. Your buyer's agent will also be there to walk you through every step of the process until you officially have the keys to your new home in hand.