Joint Base Charleston Real Estate

4 Myths To Avoid During The Move into Your Joint Base Charleston Home

1. Free moving boxes are best

There are advantages to buying boxes: Their uniform size makes it easy to gauge how many you’ll be able to pack in the truck based on the dimensions of the truck and a little math. Also, they’re way less likely to fall apart at the worst possible moments.  But if you do decide to go the free route, be careful about what you bring home from the grocery store. Packing your possessions in free produce boxes could mean you’re joined by unwanted insects in your new Joint Base Charleston home.

2. All markers are created equal

Color coding the writing on boxes makes sure everyone knows what goes where in your new Joint Base Charleston home.  Along with jotting down the contents of the boxes, make sure to put an arrow facing up so everyone knows how the box should be loaded and carried.  And make a note on at least two sides of the box if it contains delicate items.

 3. There are some things you can’t pack until moving day

It’s tempting to wait until the last minute to pack up personal items and bedding if you’re using them on your final night in your old home. But that can create chaos and increase the odds of something getting left behind or misplaced.  Instead, have everything packed up and ready to go on moving day. This will help reduce the chance for problems, but it’s also good for your wallet, too.  You could wind up paying professional movers to stand around while you pack up those last few incidentals. Pack personal items as if you were going on a two day vacation so you can find the essentials when you arrive at your new Joint Base Charleston home.

4. You should always move on Friday

Perhaps you think Friday is the best day to move because it gives you the whole weekend to unpack.  The reality is: Everybody else is thinking that, too. And that extra demand means higher costs. Movers charge more during spring and summer, on weekends, and at the beginning and the end of the month because that’s typically when they’re the busiest.  Also, if you move during a peak time, it can mean crews are stretched thin and you might have to settle for movers with less experience.

Avoiding these move-related myths can make a drastic difference on moving day.

Posted by Jodie Ford on May 16th, 2016 5:29 PMLeave a Comment

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner


1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value


2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

The days of selling your Joint Base Charleston house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.


Posted by Jodie Ford on March 29th, 2016 6:17 PMLeave a Comment

March 14th, 2016 2:31 PM

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers


1. Draw up a hard budget and stick to it.

Let’s say you're interested in a Joint Base Charleston home, but you’re not sure it’s in your price range.  Before you start browsing, it’s crucial that you iron out important questions such as, what is the most you can afford or what is your ideal price range? Enlist the help of a mortgage broker to help you arrive at a figure. He or she will be able to tell you how much the bank will lend you and at what interest rate.   Keep your other expenses in mind and make sure you can afford this long term investment.


2. Make a short list of your non-negotiables.

Before you start seriously shopping, consider your lifestyle.  Make a list of non-negotiables, -- from location, to square footage, to amenities -- that you must have in your future home. This will also help guide your realtor.  And reevaluate your list as you gain a better sense of what's out there and what you want. 


3. Use an experienced realtor who knows the area and the Joint Base Charleston market.

It is our job and we do this every day, so let us help you.  We are there to help every step of the way and work for you at NO COST to you!  A realtor will be able to help you negotiate, give you realistic expectations on closings costs and the timeframe it takes to close, and be there as a resource to help you make this important decision, an educated one. 


Posted by Jodie Ford on March 14th, 2016 2:31 PMLeave a Comment

Top 10 Home Energy Efficiency Tips For Your Joint Base Charleston Home

  1. Wash clothes in cold waterto save $63 a year.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat to save up to 10% on cooling and heating costs.
  3. Use your window shades.Close blinds on the sunny side in summer to keep out the hot sun, and open them in winter to bring in warm rays.
  4. Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use in your Joint Base Charleston home. A power strip can help turn off multiple items at once. (Sometimes the simplest things are really effective!)
  5. Change to new and improved light bulbs.Reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80% withtoday’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs.
  6. Look for the Energy Star label, the government’s symbol of energy efficiency, on a wide range of consumer products to save up to 30% on related electricity bills.
  7. Use low-flow faucets and shower headsto save on waterbills.
  8. Clean or change filters regularly. A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool.
  9. Reduce water heater temperature to 130° F to save energy and money on heating water; and wrap the water storage tank in a specially-designed “blanket” to retain the heat.
  10. Seal air leaks and properly insulate to save up to 20% on heating and cooling bills, while also increasing home comfort.

Posted by Jodie Ford on March 7th, 2016 3:47 PMLeave a Comment

February 18th, 2016 1:20 PM

9 Common Real Estate Myths

Buying or selling your Joint Base Charleston home is not something you do everyday. You may do it once a decade, or even once in a lifetime. Despite the fact that most enter the world of real estate only rarely, some think they know how it works based on the experiences of friends and family members, stories they have heard and things they have read.  However, real estate agents do this every single day and stay current with the market and changing regulations. 

For everything known about the industry, there are a number of myths that circulate about how real estate actually works. Buying into those can hurt your chances of buying or selling the right home at the right price.

The Internet has made much more information available to consumers, but not all the information is equal, or even accurate.

The danger with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you money when it's time to buy or sell a home. Here are nine of the most common MYTHS that can trip up buyers and sellers:

Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Listing your home at too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That's because shoppers and their real estate agents often don't even look at homes that are priced above market value. It's true you can always lower the price if the house doesn't garner any offers in the first few weeks. But that comes with its own set of problems, because are concerned once a home has been sitting for several weeks or months.

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don't use a real estate agent. This is completely false. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers do not have an agent, the seller's agent will receive the entire commission.

You can save money selling your home yourself. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It's not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you'll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It's not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you'd get with an agent, but it's not easy.

The market will only go up. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values. "They think that the market only goes up," Elika says. "They don't think about when a correction will come." The most recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices can indeed fall, and fall a lot. Economist Robert Shiller created an inflation-adjusted index for home prices dating to 1890 and found that home prices have fallen a number of times over the years, including in the early 1990s, the early 1980s and the mid-1970s.

You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don't want to redo something that has just been renovated. "You're better off adjusting your price accordingly," says Kevin Brown Jr., president of Praedium Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh and a regional director of the NAEBA. "Most buyers want to put their own spin on things."

You'll earn back what you spend on renovations. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won't recoup what you spent. According to Remodeling magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You're likely to recoup only 67.8 percent of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 percent of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home. If you're going to do these projects, it's better to do them for your own enjoyment

All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online.  Most do, but it never hurts to verify that yours will. Third party websites aren’t always accurate either, so keep this in mind when using them to research. 

Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes.

The agent who shows you homes or lists your home represents your interests. Maybe and maybe not. In South Carolina, a customer has the option of signing an agreement for the agent to represent him as a listing agent or as a buyer's agent. If you were to contact the listing agent of a house that you are interested in as a buyer, that agent works for the seller and has the seller’s best interest in mind, not yours.  It’s always the best idea to have your own agent in all transactions, and this is no exception with buying from a builder in a brand new neighborhood. 


Posted by Jodie Ford on February 18th, 2016 1:20 PMLeave a Comment

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.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve.  It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly.  You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a 
hurricane or 
tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

Posted by Jodie Ford on February 5th, 2016 2:18 PMLeave a Comment




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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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%.


Posted by Jodie Ford on January 26th, 2016 3:42 PMLeave a Comment

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.

Mortgage interest

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.

Capital gains

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.

Posted by Jodie Ford on January 8th, 2016 2:20 PMLeave a Comment

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:

RepresentationThe 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 today!


Posted by Jodie Ford on December 18th, 2015 11:28 AMLeave a Comment

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:

  • Protect their client’s financial information
  • Negotiate the best possible price for the buyer
  • Must disclose to the buyer if they are working with another buyer interested in the same property
  • Show all properties the buyer is interested in that fits their criteria and budget
  • Connect you with the service providers—inspectors, lenders, home warranty companies—to best suit your needs

The buyer also has some responsibilities to their buyer’s agent:

  • Buyers must work with their buyers agent exclusively
  • Buyers should never give personal information to any other agent
  • Buyers should not call other agents to see properties, even if they think they are saving their agent some time and effort
  • Buyers should clearly define their must haves and deal breakers to help their agent streamline the showing process

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 today!

Posted by Jodie Ford on December 1st, 2015 3:43 PMLeave a Comment


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: