6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into Your New Joint Base Charleston Home
Moving into your first home is exciting! But it also means you’ve got work to do. 1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith.
2. Check for plumbing leaks. Your home inspector will do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.
3. Steam clean carpets. Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start.
4. Wipe out your cabinets. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.
5. Inspect for Uninvited Guests. Your home inspector will include any comments about potential rodent problems. If there is any evidence of rodents, be sure we to take care of the problem before it turns into a major issue.
DECEMBER SALES SOAR AS THE CHARLESTON REAL ESTATE MARKET ENDS THE YEAR UP
CHARLESTON, SC— (January 10, 2016) 1,389 homes sold in December in the region at a median price of $241,250 according to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR). In December 2014, 1,293 homes sold at a median price of $202,000.
Year-to-date data shows that sales volume is 14% ahead of where it was last year, with 16,202 sales through the end of the year and the regional median price has increased by 6.5%, currently $229,000. 2014 saw 14,256 home sales at a median price of $215,000.
There are 19% fewer homes for sale than in 2014. Inventory dipped below 5,000 homes at the close of the year, but it is not uncommon to see inventory decline during the holiday season. There were 4,985 homes listed as “active” for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) as of January 12.
During yesterday’s Charleston Residential Market Update hosted by CTAR and CTMLS, two expert economists, Steven Slifer and Dr. Joey Von Nessen told the crowd of 650 that South Carolina, and the Charleston region in particular are enjoying a period of exciting economic growth—tracking at approximately 3% statewide—and broad-based expansion, particularly in the construction, retail and professional/business services sectors.
Echoing the concerns of 2016 CTAR President Michael Sally, Dr. Von Nessen cited inventory as one of the major obstacles in the Charleston market specifically, and cautioned that the ongoing trend of demand outpacing supply was the key factor in the significant price growth in the Joint Base Charleston area.
“Exceeding 6% growth in median price on an annual basis is a bit higher than we want to see for long-term, sustained growth” Sally said, “it’s at the higher end of what’s sustainable, and we’re already seeing this pace of growth start to price people out of the market” he continued. “We will continue to partner with key organizations in our region to address the need for workforce housing to ensure that Charleston is a place that everyone can call home” Sally concluded.
Tri-County Overview 1,334 homes sold in Charleston, Berkeley or Dorchester counties at a median price of $245,000.
Berkeley County SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 297 single-family homes sold at a median price of $214,950 in Berkeley County in December. Year-to-date, sales volume for single-family homes is up 19% in Berkeley County and median price has increased by about 10%, compared to 2014 figures.
CONDOS/TOWNHOUSES 27 condos or townhouses sold at a median price of $184,550 in Berkeley County in December. Year-to-date, sales volume for condos/townhouses has grown nearly 29% and median price has increased nearly 7%.
Charleston County SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 571 single-family homes sold at a median price of $345,000 in Charleston County in December. Year-to-date, sales volume for single-family homes is up 14% in Charleston County and median price has increased by about 6.7%, compared to 2014 figures.
CONDOS/TOWNHOUSES 170 condos or townhouses sold at a median price of $205,000 in Charleston County in December. Year-to-date, sales volume for condos/townhouses has grown 6% and median price has increased nearly 5%.
Dorchester County SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 230 single-family homes sold at a median price of $199,950 in Dorchester County in December. Year-to-date, sales volume for single-family homes is up 14% in Dorchester County and median price has increased by about 5%, compared to 2014 figures.
CONDOS/TOWNHOUSES 25 condos or townhouses sold at a median price of $143,000 in Dorchester County in December. Year-to- date, sales volume for condos/townhouses has grown 13% and median price has increased nearly 10%.
Tax Breaks for Your Joint Base Charleston Home
Owning real estate can make tax season more complex, but many Charleston homeowners receive considerable benefits — especially if they sold a home or relocated for a job in the previous year. Here’s a look at three ways homeownership can pay off at tax time.
When you purchase a Charleston home, you will likely get a mortgage. Your monthly mortgage payment is made up of both principal (paying money to pay down the loan) and interest (what the lender charges for supplying the loan). As a way to incentivize homeownership, the federal government provides a tax benefit when it comes to the interest portion of your mortgage payment.
A homeowner can write off, dollar for dollar, the interest portion of their mortgage payment. Say, for example, a homeowner’s annual salary is $100,000. Their mortgage payment is $1,200 per month, and the interest portion of that payment is $1,000. At the end of the year, they have a $12,000 tax write-off. In essence, their taxable income is reduced to $88,000.
Charleston homeowners also get a tax break when they sell their home. If you purchase your home for $200,000 and sell it for $400,000, you have a $200,000 gain — that’s income.
If you have an income by way of a job, a contract position or the sale of stock or mutual funds, you pay income tax on that gain. With homeownership, it’s different. If you are single and lived in the home for at least two of the past five years, you do not have to pay any income tax on that $200,000 gain — in fact, you don’t have to pay on gain up to $250,000. Married couples filing tax returns jointly and following the same owner occupancy guidelines are exempt up to $500,000. Where else can you generate income without paying taxes on it?
Tax credits for moving
If you purchase a home in one state and sell one in another, you should check with a CPA in both states. There may be benefits realized in one state but not the other, such as tax credits for moving expenses, if the move is a part of a job transfer. And, for the year you are between states, you will likely need to file a return in each state. It’s always smart to check with a CPA before a real estate transaction.
Should You Go It Alone When Buying From A Home Builder?
An unrepresented buyer can be at a real disadvantage by deciding not to use an experienced real estate professional when buying your Joint Base Charleston Home.
Our job is to represent the buyer’s best interest and help through the transaction with the least degree of hassle and frustration. And our goal is to get the buyer the most value for the least money. The least important part of our job is driving buyers around to looks at houses (although it is important); our real value comes later in negotiating and working through the process on behalf of our client.
Here’s how we help:
Representation - The builder representative at the model home may look and sound like a real estate agent there to help you. However, the builder rep is a salesperson for the builder, and as such represents the builder’s best interest. Realtors are licensed professional bound by law and professional ethics, while builder reps are not constrained by those requirements.
Negotiation - Buyer negotiations can be effective as long as the buyer knows what incentives are typical and customary, how to compare alternative financing, who pays for what (title costs, appraisals, inspections, additional warranties, closing costs, etc.), what upgrades cost and how to apply builder concessions, and many other issues. Realtors make it look so easy by asking questions that the buyer doesn’t know to ask.
Inspections - This is a big one. As a buyer’s Realtor, we insist that clients always get a home inspection. The builder rep is not likely to make any such demands of the buyer. This issue alone justifies our involvement in the transaction. Buyers will often think that the new home warranty will take care of all their problems, but this is not the case.
The Sequence - Builders can become resistant to buyers who show up at the builder site and let them think they are unrepresented by a Realtor. The best process is to either shop with your Realtor or at least immediately inform the buyer’s rep that you are working with an agent and that you are represented. Maybe offer the agent’s card or at least name and company as you ‘register’ with the builder. This insures that the agent is ‘in the loop’. It is strongly recommended that you do not do the paperwork or contract without your agent being present to review and advise.
Military Homes Charleston We specialize in helping military families enjoy a smooth PCS in and out of Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Buying and selling your home is one of the biggest events of your life. As your trusted Charleston Real Estate Professional, we are 100% committed to helping you the best way we can when you buy or sell your home. We have a passion for helping people, and we love what we do – call 843-410-8014 orjodie@MilitaryHomesCharleston.com today!
Buyer Agents: Working for You Free of Charge
Home buyers should always have their own agent. Buyer agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for the buyer. Best of all, the buyer agent’s services are free to the buyer.
Most people think they have to pay a sales commission. The truth is this: only the seller pays the commission.
Whether a buyer uses an agent or not, the seller still pays the commission. The only person that wins when buyers are not represented is the listing agent.
Most buyer agents will have their clients sign an agency agreement called an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement. It outlines their services, how they are compensated, and how the two parties will work together.
Remember, you wouldn’t hire your spouse’s attorney to represent you in your divorce. The same goes for real estate. Why use the seller’s agent to negotiate your best interest? There is an inherent conflict of interest.
The home buying process is stressful enough without worrying about who you can and cannot trust to sell your Joint Base Charleston Home. Your buyer’s agent is your trusted advocate.
Buyer Agents and the Agreements
According to most buyer agency agreements, the buyer’s agent must do these things:
The buyer also has some responsibilities to their buyer’s agent:
Make sure the buyer’s agent you select is familiar the type of property you want to purchase, the area you want to purchase in and the particulars of your situation. An agent is only as effective as the information they are given. Clients relocating from one city to another require a different set of skills from a client moving within the same area, for example.
Buying Charleston real estate is a big decision. Contact one of us and we will guide you through the local market conditions.
Military Homes Charleston We specialize in helping military families enjoy a smooth PCS in and out of Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Buying and selling your home is one of the biggest events of your life. As your trusted Charleston Real Estate Professional, we are 100% committed to helping you the best way we can when you buy or sell your home. We have a passion for helping people, and we love what we do – call 843-410-8014 or jodie@MilitaryHomesCharleston.com today!
Top 8 Tips for Selling Your Charleston Home During the Holidays
Attract homebuyers even during the holidays with these useful tips.
The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers around Joint Base Charleston tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you've committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips.
Jodie Ford – Charleston Air Force Base, SC Real Estate For Sale
I specialize in helping military families enjoy a smooth PCS in and out of Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. I have a passion for helping people, and I love what I do. Call me (843) 410-8014 and let me make this the easiest PCS yet!