Buy New, or Existing?

Thu, May 7th 2009 12:45 pm by Alan Donald Buyers


One of the big decisions that a buyer must make, is whether to buy a new home, or an existing one. While new homes tend to have higher prices than comparable existing ones, there are other factors to consider:

TIMING - new tract homes can take 4-6 months to build (up to 12 months for custom-built). If you need a home sooner than this, you may look at inventory homes (or "specs") that new home builders may have available or in advanced construction, or existing homes.

PRICING - while new homes are generally more expensive, when a market is over-supplied, new home builders tend to offer larger incentives for buyers than those an existing home owner may be able to give. In...

First Home Buyer Tax Credit Deadline

Tue, May 5th 2009 4:45 pm by Alan Donald Buyers

The $8,000 tax credit is a great incentive for a first home buyer (or someone who has not owned a home in the last three years). I have already sold three homes to families that will benefit directly from this incentive.

If you are currently renting and "thinking about" buying, please note that you MUST purchase the home BEFORE November 30th, 2009 to qualify for this tax credit.

Don't miss out! The tax credit, low mortgage rates and low home prices form a very special and favorable set of circumstances.


Using Creative Negotiations

Mon, May 4th 2009 12:45 pm by Alan Donald Negotiations


If a buyer has an 850 Credit Score, 45% downpayment and does not have to sell a home, his/her offer on your home is a strong one! However, many buyers are not in that situation. And while as a seller you would like to get your asking price and no conditions, an experienced agent will prepare you for the possibility of receiving offers that involve less than ideal conditions and may require some compromises.

Successful REALTORS® know how to structure creative offers and do whatever it takes to make a transaction work ("a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush"). If a buyer is low on cash, your counter-offer may shift some closing costs to you (the...

Hard Nosed Negotiations - Not in This Market!

Sat, May 2nd 2009 2:47 pm by Alan Donald Negotiations

Tough NegotiatorRemember the days when you as the Seller told the Buyer to accept all your conditions or else? Those were the days when hard-nosed and belligerant REALTORS and their ambitious clients could get away with anything, and the Buyers would have to swallow it whole!

Boy, has the market changed! Nowadays Buyers have the upper hand, an Sellers and their listing agents need to have a completely different approach to negotiations. The moment a seller appears inflexible or rude, Buyers just walk away from the negotiations (why wouldn't they, there are plenty of options out there for them!).

Today's successful negotiations need:

  1. Patience - negotiations take a lot longer to come to fruition, it i...

Reverse Mortgages Now Accepted for Purchases

Thu, Apr 30th 2009 5:15 pm by Alan Donald General

New regulation recently passed this year allows Reverse Mortgages (HECMs) to be used for the purchase of a home. The requirements to obtain an HECM are that one of the homeowners needs to be over 62 years old, and the owners must have substantial equity in the home (the HECM only lends up to 50% of the appraised value of the home).

What is HECM for Purchase?
HECM for Purchase allows seniors, age 62 or older, to purchase a new principal residence using loan proceeds from the reverse mortgage.

What is the purpose of the program?
The program was designed to allow seniors to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction by eliminating the need f...

3 Most Common Myths About Your Credit Score

Tue, Apr 28th 2009 4:45 pm by Alan Donald General

I read this article published by Experian, one of the three national credit rating agencies, and thought it was interesting to share:

IN THE KNOW: The Top Three Credit Myths: Revealed

Myth #1: Checking my own credit report will lower my score

Personal inquiries, also known as "soft inquiries" or "below the line inquiries," are not visible to lenders and therefore are not part of your credit score calculation. So you can rest easy-checking your own credit report or score does NOT negatively impact your score.

Myth #2: Applying for new credit will actually lower my score

This depends on the type of credit you're applying for. If you apply for several credit cards within a short period of t...

The Closing - Legal Jargon Overload

Sun, Apr 26th 2009 4:45 pm by Alan Donald General

Legal Jargon Overload

When you buy a home, the closing attorney (SC is an attorney state) will make you sign stacks of papers, affidavits and documents filled with legal jargon. Most of these documents relate to establishing your identity (for legal and tax purposes), transferring the deed, and formalizing any loans and mortgages.

Depending on their personality, some buyers are anxious to get out of there and get their keys (so they sign all the paperwork as fast as they can without even reading it) while others are extremely cautious and read every sentence before signing (and find it very frustrating to have to read these documents at the closing table, while causing everyone else to ...

What do Appraisers Look For?

Fri, Apr 24th 2009 5:45 pm by Alan Donald Real Estate

With home values fluctuating the way they have in the last three years, appraisers are under increasing scrutiny from government agencies, lenders and mortgage insurance companies. Three years ago it was relatively easy to conduct an appraisal based of recent comparables and escalating property values. Today, the market is very inconsistent, partially because distressed (such as short sales, foreclosures and lender-owned) properties skew the "normal" market and makes value prediction more of an art than a precise science.

What are appraisers looking for in this market? Here are some of the things they are looking for (I have received many calls from appraisers to find out information abo...

Mt. Pleasant Residential Market Moving Along

Thu, Apr 16th 2009 9:02 am by Alan Donald Mt Pleasant Real Estate Market

It is another sunny day in Charleston! And, contrary to the doom and gloom that we read in the papers every day, our residential real estate market seems to be "moving along" towards a recovery.

INVENTORY - is still coming down slowly. We peaked at 2025 units in July 0f 2007, currently at 1623 units.We are already seeing some For-Sale-By-Owner signs around, so inventory will probably grow in the next two months as sellers try to catch the Spring/Summer buying wave, and decrease during the summer months when those sales close.

UNITS SOLD PER MONTH - we bottomed at 46 units in November last year, and we are back to 93 units for March 2009.

ABSORPTION - Although absorption went up in the ...

Your source for Charleston and Mt Pleasant Real Estate Information

Sun, Mar 29th 2009 10:42 pm by Chad Weaber General

Welcome to With the advances in information technology, the role of the REALTOR has changed in the last 15 years. Before the Internet became popular, REALTORS and their MLS associations controlled all of the information about listings; nowadays every other website will give the savvy buyer more information than what they really want or need.

Our role as REALTORS has changed: We have become LOCAL MARKET ADVISORS (information interpreters), fiduciary consultants, savvy negotiators and experienced business relationship managers with the objective of ensuring successful and smooth transactions from contract to closing and protecting our clients' best interests.

We ...

comments powered by Disqus