Beaufort, SC Real Estate News

By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Seems like every week, l encounter a new name in my real estate travels, a name which wasn't around back in the pre-recession market. There are new companies, new agents, new home inspectors, among others. Fresh faces... As we head into 2015, I find it heartening to see the roster of our local Boad of realtors begin to grow again. I like the influx of new talent in our profession. I like seeing agents confident enough in the future of the market that they are willing to start their own company. I like having more options when it comes to home inspections, and CL-100 reports. I like attorney offices which that are buzzing with activity on a Friday afternoon, as new buyers close on their new homes. I think 2015 is going to be a great year!!    
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
When making your next home puchase, make sure you are mindful of homes on private oads. I am sure evey state is different, but in South Carolina, private roads ae signified by blue street signs. VA lenders like to see a maintained road. Someimtes, this may be easier said than done. I have seen some agents go though the ringer trying to get homeowners on a private street to agree sign a maintenance ageement. Maintenance of the street may seem like an afterthought, but it can become a critical bit of infomation when you go to sell the home in a few years, by limiting the kind of loan prospsective buyers can use.
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
As you begin your search for that perfect home, the best advise I can give you is to contact a professional lender immediately about getting qualified for a mortgage.   This is important for several reasons.    1)Just about all sellers these days will not consider an offer without a prequalification letter which says the buyer is able to obtain a loan for the property.   2) Secondly, until you fill out a loan application (which takes just a few minutes) with a lender, it is difficult to say how much of a mortgage you qualify for.   3) You may qualify for a government-backed program (VA, Rural Development, FHA) which offers opportunities to buy a home with little or more money down.   If you don't have a lender in mind, your Realtor will have several professional, low-pressure lenders w...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
I had a discussion recently with a seller who wanted to add a selling bonus to the listing agent. I advised against it. Firstly, in 15 years as a licensed South Carolina Realtor, I have found selling bonuses to be ineffective tools for my sellers. If a buyer's agent has a client for my home or land listing, then in theory that agent will show my property. Secondly, I think selling bonuses can present some shaky ethical ground for buyer's agents. The very nature of our fiducary responsibilities is to put the interest of our clients above all else. What does a selling bonus do but try and entice us as agents to put our (as Realtors) our own financial interest above the interest of our buyers? Am I wrong in this thinking?
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
  We always encourage our clients to "let the market speak," and to "listen to the market." After all, a $200,000 home is a $200,000 home, right? The College Football market spoke to me last week. I overvalued my team, the Georgia Bulldogs, thinking they were National title contenders. But, just as a $150,000 home will not sell for $200,000, my Bulldogs are not National title contenders, and they were embarrassed, 38-20, in a game which, frankly, was not even that close. There is good news, though. It is just a game. Finances are not hanginig in the balance. It is all in good fun, which is why I continue to say, "Go Dawgs!!"
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Newpoint continues to be a sought-after community.   Homes in Newpoint over the past year have sold faster than competing communities, such as Coosaw Point, Distant Island and Cat Island. That's great news for prospective sellers.   There have been 8 Newpoint sales in the last 12 months. The median sales price was $474,500. These 8 homes sold in an average of 223 days on the market, which constitutes the time the listing is activated to the time the home closes.   The median-cost-per square foot has been $162 per square foot for Newpoint over the past 12 months.   When compared with competing neighborhoods, these are encouraging numbers.     There are several communities which compete with Newpoint for buyers. On Lady's Island these are Coosaw Point, Cat Island and Distant Island.   Th...
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By Randy Shamburger, FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert
(Movement Mortgage)
VA Loan in Beaufort SC  It is one of the best mortgage loan programs available today. The Beaufort South Carolina VA Loan for both honorably discharged vets and active duty military personnel and if you want to know more about its features, read on. Here are the features of a VA loan program: Zero Down Payment, 100% financing. Monthly mortgage insurance is not tacked on to your payment. Easier credit qualifying compared to other types of mortgage loans. VA Mortgage Rates are low compared to other types of home loans.  Here's how to qualify for a VA Mortgage Loan in Beaufort South Carolina: The first step is to verify your eligibility. Eligibility is verified by ordering your Certificate of Eligibility or COE. You can work with an approved South Carolina VA mortgage loan lender to order ...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Dear Diane,   Are you up for a project?   This home you inquired about has magnificent views of the Broad River, and sits on a beautiful lot. In many ways, it is the quintessential Lowcountry experience -- oaks, waterviews, lush landscaping.   But this home needs a major overhauling, which is why it was offered at $220,000. The home had been on the market with another agent for a year before the owners relisted with another agent, and very wisely reduced their price by more than $50,000.   There are many communities in and around Beaufort which offer homes with fantastic views and mature homesites, but the home may need a little TLC.   Audrey and I have a lot to offer you, so if you are not already working with another agent, please let us know how we can help.   Best Regards,       Ke...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Kindness if a wonderful thing. Yesterday, I saw a woman purchase three new pairs of shoes for a grandmother who was school shopping for her granddaughters. I was fortunate to be a bystander for this magnanimous gesture. The grandmother was  struggling to find something affordable for the two girls, who were probably ages 10 to 13. After a few minutes of looking around, the grandmother suggested to the girls that maybe they try again next week. The next thing I knew, this bystander stepped in and was helping the young girls find Sperrys (not cheap), and the bystander even bought a pair of shoes for the grandmother. When the grandmother asked the bystander for her name, the bystander answered only with her first name. So, with this incredible gesture, this bystander managed to make day of...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Active Rainer Jeff Dowler wrote a great blog about "staging" our offers, to put our clients' best foot forward. Jeff's blog touched all the right bases about the actual presentation of the offers, so I won't belabor the point by repeating his points. However, I want to applaud the premise. Communication is essential to any business transaction, perhaps none moreso than in real estate transactions. Taking a few moments to put a better face on the offer makes perfect sense. How many times have we been handed (or emailed) an offer by a snarling, surly agent who seems to almost be daring the seller to not accept? If you're like me, you have seen a lot of such offers. Negativity can seep through a real estate transaction, from buyer to seller. Why not try and get things off to a positive sta...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
I get asked that frequently. I can't put my finger on why so many folks choose to relocate or retire to Beaufort, I just know people want to be here. Beaufort is a target destination of folks from Maine to Tennessee and North Carolina to Connecticut.Well, maybe I can  put my finger on it. Besides being,pound for pound, one of the most historic towns in America, the weather is temperate, the waterways are endless, the beaches are nearby, and the people are just plain nice.From a tax situation, most of those relocating to Beaufort will tell you their taxes went down when they arrived in town. If you have any questions as to what makes Beaufort a great place to consider, visit my website at www.explorebeaufortrealestate.com, or email me at strawn.keitih@gmail.com. Have a great week!!! 
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
I "lifted" this very funny photo from the Pinterest page of Diane Morales, a Keller Williams agent in Saint Charles, ILL. I am not sure if this bug-eyed agent is directing his frustration at another agent's buyer client, or his own buyer client. This funny graphic made me harken back to the most ridiculous offer I ever encountered. I was on the selling side. This was about 12 or 13 years ago. I don't remember the exact terms, but the offer went more or less something like this -- Offer was something like 70 percent of the asking price, on a $690,000 listing. The earnest money was negligible, maybe a thousand bucks. But that was not the worst part of the offer. The buyer made his offer contingent on the sale of his home in Charleston. But that is still not the worst part. The buyer wante...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
I recently met a gentleman who was looking to pick up raw, undeveloped land for "15 to 20 cents on the dollar." That is all good and well, I told him. But, I continued, "which dollar are you referring to"? Was it the dollar of the early 2000s, when land prices were exploding at 25 to 30 percent a year, or the dollar of the last few years , in which the air had gone completely out of the land market? The land market is recovering, but it is still lagging behind the residential market. In the early 2000s, the market was driven by new construction, but also by baby boomers purchasing land with an eye towards retirement. Others were buying so they could build a second home. When the stock market and real estate markets crashed, the retirement segement of the raw land market dried up. New co...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
If I were to try and boil success -- in real estate or any profession -- down to one word, it would be integrity. With integrity comes honesty, professionalism and thoroughness. With integrity comes courtesy, and civility. Integrity allows you to act in the best interest of your client, yet still treat all parties honestly. With integrity, it doesn't matter if you sell one home per year or 100. If there is no integrity, what is there?       
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Can't I have a firm understanding of Bitcoin. What I do know is that the online currency was created by someone who uses the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, and Bitcoin is gaining popularity among vendors. According to Money Magazine, bitcoin can buy you a pizza in some places, and even a manicure. But will Bitoin ever be able to buy you a house or a piece of land? With the way technology is changing, I'd have to say "yes." I suppose you can demonstrate existance of funds in Bitcoin, just like you can get a letter from Bank of America or Wells Fargo. So, do you think your sellers would accept Bitcoin for their property? Something to ponder.   
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
The 80 % rule dictates there is no such thing as a "perfect" home. So, armed with this fact, buyers should bear in mind that there are no 100 percent houses. But there are plenty of homes which offer 80 percent of what you are looking for, as a buyer. A Realtor friend of mine proposed that the only way to get a 100 percent home is to build it. But, I would suggest this is even difficult, because the location of a home is part of most buyer's wish list. So, while you may be able to build a 2000 square foot range with all the exact upgrades you want as a buyer, the "perect" setting is all but guaranteed to bump your dream home into the next price bracket. In reality, only your 1 percenters are likely to be able afford that perfect home in the perfect setting, whether it be ocean front, or...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
Here we are in early February, the tail end of the winter market, and we are seeing many buyers have to scramble to get offers in before the home of their choice is bought out from under them. Yes, urgency has returned to the Beaufort, SC real-estate market, as more buyers are competing for a seemingly dwindling supply of homes in the $100,000 to $150,000 price range. An old axom of real estate has been that "The home you looked at and liked today is probably the home someone else looked at and liked yesterday." It seems like it was just recently that the glut of foreclosures and short sales meant long waits for sellers, and little urgency on behalf of buyers. Friends, that has changed. So, be ready. We suggest buyers call a lender to get pre-approval, so that when these buyers find a h...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
New homes are covered by the builder's warranty, which is very comprehensive and covers the structure from top to bottom.   However, if you are purchasing a pre-owned home, we recommend buying a home warranty plan, offered by the likes of Old Republic, American Home Shield or 2-10.   Starting at about $400 a year, new homeowners can have limited protection for all sorts of problems which could arise at your home, from electrical and plumbing issues to appliance breakdowns. And coverage does not have to coincide with the purchase.   Home sellers can utilize the plans during the listing period. I have used these warranties through the years, both as Realtor and homeowner, and have found them to be most helpful. For more information, visit my website at www.explorebeaufortrealestate.com, ...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
The waterfront community of Paulkie Island is one of Beaufort’s best-kept deep-water secrets. Located just west of Beaufort, Paulkie Island is off the beaten path, without being totally out of the way. If you have read any of Pat Conroy's fiction, you know what I am talking about. Paulkie Island has a similar feel to communities like Coffin Point and Land's End, on St. Helena Island, in that you are unlikely to stumble across these communities by accident. You almost have to know where you are going to get there. And this is part of what has helped Paulkie Island maintain it's charm. It is a quiet, waterfront neighborhood, with a private boat launch and boat dock which can be used by residents. And yet, Paulkie Island is within short driving distance to downtown Beaufort. For years, Pau...
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By Keith Strawn, www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com
(www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com (Ballenger Realty))
For those seeking to capitalize on a foreclosure home purchase in Beaufort, SC, the window of opportunity could be closing. Current Beaufort real estate absorption rates indicate that the number ...of available foreclosures on the market could be significantly thinned by the time this summer rolls around. In other words, these foreclosures aren't going to be around forever. According to Beaufort Multiple Listing Service stats, the current absorption rate for existing foreclosure homes on the market is only 2 months. The "absorption rate" is the amount of time it is estimated to take to sell all home currently on the market, based on recent sales. For example, in the 12 months between 1/21/13 and 1/20/14, there were 373 residential foreclosure sales via the Beaufort MLS, or 31 per month....
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