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Archive for the ‘Dunes West’ Category

A small maze.

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I just read a post on Ronnie Bartles blog (http://www.bartlesandassociates.com/bartlebys-blog/2011/7/10/do-i-know-you.html) about the saga of Coco and her fiancée, first time home buyers. It made me stop and think about how things have changed over the past couple of years. Coco is not alone in her angst and customer service has all but disappeared. But there is hope!

My wife, Patricia, and I are Realtor*s and have helped a number of first time home buyers, and seasoned home buyers and sellers navigate through the real estate maze that is a fact of today’s market. We haven’t done this alone. We have a select group of service providers, that have mastered the maze, and we recommend them to our clients. As a team, we help our clients through the maze and bureaucratic red tape. No real estate transaction today is without stress, but we Team Up for Success and reduce the stress for our clients.

There should never be a reason for a home buyer to have to change agents, or home inspectors on any real estate transaction and then lose the deal after all is said an done. We cannot change the bureaucracy involved with bank owned homes, or short sales. But we can make sure that all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted. Team Up for Success is not just a slogan, it is how we approach our profession. If you have real estate needs, buying or selling, first timers or seasoned veterans, test us out! We want to Team Up for Success with you!

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A view from the roof at Morgan Creek Grill.

I just love where I live! I’m guessing that you love where you live, but if you don’t, the Low Country is a place that you will fall in love with very quickly. I took this picture with a Blackberry from the roof top at Morgan Creek Grill one afternoon this past week.

We were having a nice visit with our friends, the Samuelsons, and enjoying the food at the Grill. It has been very hot for the past several weeks, but on this evening the breezes were cool and comforting. Great friends and good food!

Patricia and I have lived here since 2002. We moved from Morristown, NJ where we had lived on and off for over 25 years. That last winter in New Jersey was difficult in many respects, but the weather was really nasty. We left in a snow storm that followed us down I-95 for many, many miles. When we finally arrived very late at night, there were our friends, the Samuelsons, who greeted us and helped us to settle in for the night.

Living in the Low Country has always reminded me of New Orleans where I grew up. There is so much in common between the two. In New Orleans we had swamp. Here we have marsh. There the canals in New Orleans that were like the area around Shem Creek, in some cases. In New Orleans we had heat and here we have heat. On the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain there were places like Morgan Creek Grill. We always had fresh seafood, just like we have here. Great friends there, just like here.

All of these things are in common between here and there, so for me it was easy to fall in love with this place. After all, it was like I had come home! You can make this your home, It is an easy place to fall in love with, and as Mikey’s brother say: “Try it! You’ll like it!”

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There’s a flavor on every block.

I remember my first visit to a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store when I was a child. There were more flavors than I had ever seen before! How could I decide which was best? I was used to vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but now there was mango, peach, caramel and cream, and about 27 other flavors to choose from. What was I to do?

Today’s real estate market is kind of like that. There are so many homes and neighborhoods available at great prices. How can a person decide on what to choose? If you are in the market for a new home, how can you avoid being mesmerized by the 33 flavors of homes available to you? Before you start looking, know what you need! Answer some questions before you go. The first answer you need is to the question of what you can afford.

Here are a few others to consider:

  • How big of a home do we need?
    • Will three bedrooms and two bathrooms work? Or do we need more?
    • How many square feet of air conditioned space do we need?
  • What size lot do we need?
    • Do we want a large lot?
    • Are we interested in a small lot?
    • How much yard work am I willing to do?
  • Are we interested in a townhome or condominium?
  • What schools are nearby?

Once you’ve established your needs and balanced them with your wants, your Realtor® can focus the search on that target. Your Realtor® will preview a selected group of homes before spending your time in actually visiting everything in the mix. You should be able to find your home within 5 to 10 homes that you visit.

Remember Baskin – Robbins? I got sick sampling as many flavors as I could. My stomach hurt and I never bought one scoop. Avoid the stomachache in your search by knowing what you want before you go to market.

Patricia and Mark Fuchs can help you find the flavor you want most. Call 843-425-0953 for Patricia or 843-364-9509 for Mark.

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Is this neighborhood for you?

 In Part 1 of this series, I addressed the most critical step:

  • Identifying your wants and needs for your next home.

In this post I will share what we have learned about finding a real estate agent to work with and learning about the neighborhood.

A lot has changed in the business of real estate over the last few years. There are more ways to see houses on the internet, or on your cell phone. One thing that hasn’t changed is the complexity of a real estate transaction. Again, our experience as real estate clients, before we became Realtors®, drove home the need for professional representation in all real estate transactions.

Finding Your Realtor®

There have been changes in the way agents represent sellers and buyers. At one time all agents worked for the seller, including agents that were helping buyers find a home to buy. That is no longer the case. Today, agents either represent sellers, buyers, or both. However, in many cases, the commissions are paid out of the proceeds of the sale.

Many states require agents to disclose to consumers who they represent. In South Carolina, agents are required to review with potential clients the options they have regarding representation. When selecting a buyer’s agent you should expect full disclosure on the options available and what each option entitles the client will receive in the way of services provided. So how do you find the Realtor® that you want to team up with for your purchase?

All agents are not created equally. Experience matters. How many transactions has the agents been involved with? When we searched for a Realtor®, we tried to get to know something about their background and personality. After all, if we were going to team up with a Realtor®, we want to make sure we could work together and depend on them to look out for our best interests. Often, we would be provided with a personal brochure, a resume, that helped us to know the prospective Realtor®. We found that Realtors® who had a good mix of experiences, both as a Realtor®, professional or other personal experiences, were a better match for us.

Neighborhood Information

You are not buying a house so much as you are buying a neighborhood! What are you looking for in a neighborhood? Consider how long of a commute to work you might have and what shopping is nearby. If you have children, schools will be important, and nearby amenities such as playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts, soccer/football fields and baseball diamonds. Most of this can be found on the internet these days. In my previous posts I suggested writing your wants and needs for your next home as a list to refer back to during your search. Putting together a list of wants and needs regarding the neighborhood would also be helpful.

Well, you are making progress in gathering the resources you need. In my next post I will share what we have learned about searching for the home, making and offer, and negotiating the deal. In the meantime, if you have questions, call Patricia on 843-425-0953, or me on 843-364-9509. You can visit our website www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com to sign up for our FREE MLS Market Survey to get started on your home search.

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Buying your next home?

 

Few of us are in the position to pay cash for our next house. Most of us will need a mortgage. When we apply with a lender we need information about the mortgage and the process of closing a loan. Here are some questions to ask your lender before you apply for your mortgage. 

  1. What is the best program for me based on my situation? Why?
  2. How long will it take to process and close the loan?
  3. Will I need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? If so, for how long?
  4. Are there any special underwriting guidelines that you follow?
  5. What is the most popular loan program being offered? Why is it popular?
  6. Who will be servicing the loan?
  7. In six months to a year, what will make this loan look good to me?
  8. What are your standard fees? Are there special fees that I should be aware of?
  9. Are there any escrow requirements?
  10. During the “lock-in” period, what happens if rates go down?
  11. What do you need from me to get the loan approved?
  12. Who will be my contact person during the application process?

You can probably think of many more things you need to know before you apply. Your mortgage consultant should be able to answer your questions and offer you all the information you need to make an educated decision. 

If you need help finding your next home, call me or Patricia. We team up with our clients to a successful transaction. You can reach Patricia on 843-425-0953. My number is 843-364-9509. 

You can visit our website and get our FREE MLS Market Snapshot, www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com.

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Follow the Trail!

 

I am not a loan officer, or mortgage broker. But as a real estate agent, I have watched as people apply for fixed rate mortgages and noted a few things that should be part of your decision making process when considering a fixed rate mortgage. Here are a few:

  • What is the interest rate?
  • How long is the rate quote guaranteed?
  • What number of points, including loan origination fees, will be charged?
  • What is the annual percentage rate?
  • What is the length of the mortgage (repayment term)?
  • Is the loan assumable?
  • Are there pre-payment penalties?
  • Will you need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
  • What will your monthly payment be?
  • What does your monthly payment include? Escrows for taxes, insurance?
  • What are the estimated closing costs for the loan?
  • What fees are due at application? Are there other fees to be paid?

When you work with Mark and Patricia Fuchs when looking for real estate, you will have access to a number of well qualified mortgage brokers so that you can be well informed.

Team Up for Success with Mark and Patricia Fuchs.

www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com

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Could this be your home?

 

Are you ready to negotiate the purchase price of your next real estate purchase? There is much to consider and your real estate professional is there to help you find your way. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. What are the conditions of the market?
  2. What is your financial position?
  3. Are there contigencies/conditions that you want to include as part of the negotiations?
  4. What is your negotiating threshold?
  5. How is the offer to be presented to the seller/seller’s agent?
  6. What do you know about the seller’s motivation?
  7. What intangibles are there between the buyer and seller?
  8. Are there any wild cards that should be considered?

As a real estate professional these are a few of the things I consider with my buyer clients when preparing to make an offer to purchase real estate. There is much more to consider? Contact me today to learn more! At www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com you can learn how we “Team Up for Success” with our clients to provide them with great service and representation in real estate.

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