Buying A Home: Top 6 Questions Buyers Ask

Buying A Home | Myrtle Beach RealtorBuying a home requires a lot of decisions from the buyer. What area would the buyer like to live in, what size of home is ideal, what style of home and even whether to buy one that needs some fixing up or one that is ready to move into. With so many decisions to make, it’s understandable that buyers have a lot of questions as well. Here are the top 6 questions buyers have when buying a home:

1. Should I meet with a mortgage lender/bank before I begin looking for a home?
Yes! At minimum, you’ll want to get pre-qualified, or even better pre-approved so you know how much your lender will finance for your new home. They’ll also be able to tell you about any special programs or incentives you might qualify for, such as down-payment assistance. Also, when you are ready to put in an offer, the seller will know you’ve already started the process and are a serious buyer.

2. Do I really need a buyer’s agent/ realtor? And who pays for their services?
Buying a home can be a complex process with multiple rounds of negotiations, a ton of paperwork and hours of research looking for homes that meet your needs. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. A great buyer’s agent handles all of the busy work, finds great homes for you to view and sets up the appointments to see them (showings) and is with you through the entire process of placing an offer and getting the home you want under contract. Typically, the seller pays the fees/commissions for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent in the majority of cases.

3. How many homes should I look at before choosing one?
A great buyer’s agent will tell you, “as many as it takes to find the right one for you.” However, it’s helpful to keep local market conditions in mind. There might be a limited number of homes available in your desired area that meet your needs and price range. Being open-minded about additional neighborhoods and home options could help you find something wonderful that you weren’t expecting.

4. What is earnest money?
Earnest money, also called a Good Faith Deposit is a deposit given to the seller’s agent and held in escrow by the real estate company they work with. It demonstrates the buyer’s interest and intent to purchase the home. At closing, the earnest money deposit is subtracted as money already paid toward the sale.

5. If I own a home currently and am buying a new home, how does that process work? Do I buy a new home first or sell my current one first?
This question is a little more difficult to answer. The best thing to do is to talk with your realtor about conditions in your market and ask what their recommendation is. There are good and bad points to either option. If you buy a new home before selling your current home, the good point is that you already know where you will be moving. The down side is when finalizing the purchase of the new home depends on the sale of the current one. If your current home doesn’t sell quickly; the seller of your new home might back out and sell to a more immediate buyer. However, if you sell your current home before you find and purchase your new home, you could face a period of time with no place to live.

6. What happens after my offer is accepted?
A list of things take place after the seller accepts your offer, such as inspections, final appraisal, title, survey, abstract, other paperwork required for closing, finalizing mortgage process with lender, any fixes resulting from inspections, final walk-through and then closing.

Buying a home is a major milestone, but the process doesn’t have to be a mystery. We’ve covered the answers to the top 6 questions buyers have when buying a home. Your Myrtle Beach realtor, James Haas, is your step-by-step partner to helping you find and buy the home of your dreams.

Selling Homes: Top 7 Questions Sellers Ask

Selling Homes | Myrtle Beach Listing AgentSelling a home is a multi-step process and transaction. This process and transaction works and looks differently on the seller’s side than it does on the buyer’s side. Here, we answer the top 7 questions sellers have when selling homes:

1. Do I really need a listing agent/ realtor to sell my home?
A better question isn’t if you really need one but instead, what benefits does having a listing agent give you? An experienced listing agent has systems and processes in place to get your listing posted on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and also through their established marketing channels to get your home noticed by as many buyers and realtors as possible. They also handle the piles of (often complex) paperwork, managing showings, help determine appropriate listing price and negotiate with the buyer and buyer’s agent when you receive an offer.

2. How do I know what price to list my home for?
This is where your listing agent comes in handy. They look at multiple factors, such as the neighborhood, quality of schools, condition of home, size of home, recent appraisal and comparable listings from your area to help guide you on pricing your home to sell.

3. Should I have my home staged?
In most cases, hiring a professional home stager is a solid idea. In general, homes that have been professionally staged sell for an average 20% higher price and also 88% faster than homes that have not been staged.

4. How long does it take a home to sell?
The answer to this question can vary quite a bit depending on market, quality of neighborhood and how many other homes are for sale nearby. On average, most industry experts recommend to plan to cover the mortgage and monthly expenses for 90-100 days after you list the home until it sells.

5. Should I be present for showings?
No. If at all possible, it is best that the seller is never present for showings. Having the seller listening in makes buyers uncomfortable. When buyers are uncomfortable, they are more likely to spend less time in the home and less likely to place an offer.

6. What costs do sellers have to cover?
Sellers generally cover the following costs: Brokerage fees/realtor commissions (both listing and buyer’s agents), usual monthly mortgage payments while home is listed but not yet sold, taxes, title search fees, any repairs found needed during inspection or any seller concessions and real estate attorney fees.

7. What should be included in the sale of the house?
When you list a home, anything the buyer sees beyond personal possessions could be requested. Typically, shelves, draperies, mirrors and some custom artwork or fixtures designed for the home, specifically are expected to be included. However, it is a good rule to remove anything you don’t want to part with. It’s not common but some buyers will request indoor furnishings, outdoor grills and patio furniture to be included in the sale.

Selling a home can be both exciting and stressful. Working with a great Myrtle Beach listing agent helps take the stress out of the process and they walk you through each step so you know what to expect.

Stay Healthy with South Carolina’s Popular Local Remedies

Local Remedies South Carolina | Local honeyThe South has a reputation for bug-busting natural remedies handed down from generation to generation, and South Carolina is no exception. Learn more about two of the most popular local remedies in town. You’ll find these special items at farmer’s markets, local health food providers and local farms. Here’s how to use these popular local remedies to stay healthy in South Carolina.

Local Raw Organic Honey
To reap all of the benefits of this local remedy, it must be from a local bee farm, it must be raw and it must be organic (as much as is possible, bees are foragers after all). There are a number of reputable bee farms in the area and a number of places to find this local remedy. What do residents use it for? Most people know honey is a natural cough suppressant and sore throat soother. Honey also has a number of anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties that boost the immune system to fight off seasonal illnesses. However, most raving fans of this local remedy use it to combat allergies – especially pollen-induced allergies. In coastal South Carolina, there’s nearly always something blooming and pollenating. A spoonful a day keeps the sneezing fits at bay.

Elderberry Syrup
This local remedy might sound familiar after the particularly harsh flu season (which isn’t quite over yet) we’ve just experienced. Fans of this natural remedy were searching all over town for this hot commodity over the last several months. Local recipes for this remedy generally call for organic elderberries, local raw organic honey, cinnamon and clove.

Before you dismiss the power of elderberry syrup, it’s helpful to know that it has science on its side. Recent studies in the U.S. and Europe show extract from elderberries is effective in reducing the severity and duration of viral illnesses such as colds and flu. The elderberry syrup found locally has been used for generations to reduce swelling of the airways in respiratory illness, reduce mucous production and boost immune system response. Locals use it as a preventative treatment against the flu and to fight it off should they catch it. After flu season, elderberry syrup also helps to reduce allergy symptoms.

When a natural remedy sticks around for untold generations, it’s safe to say there is usually a good reason. Southern grandmas (and great-great-great grandmas) knew a thing or two about fighting off illnesses. Of course, if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in these remedies, don’t take chances. Like any natural treatment, if you have questions be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before you use it.

Farmer’s Markets & Healthy Places to Eat in Myrtle Beach

Farmers Markets Myrtle BeachFarmer’s Market season is just about to start in Myrtle Beach – typically from early May through October each year. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the farmer’s markets to score healthy food as there are some great options open year-round. We’ll give you the scoop on the best shopping options to eat healthy in Myrtle Beach.

Farmer’s Markets
Most Farmer’s Markets start up the first week of May and feature lots more than just produce. Bring an environmentally-friendly reusable grocery sack and some cash for your healthy purchases. Here is your guide to area Farmer’s Markets for 2018:

  • Myrtle’s Market
    Where: Mr. Joe White Ave. and Oak Street in Myrtle Beach.
    When: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.
  • Surfside Beach Farmer’s Market
    Where: Passive Park
    When: Tuesdays from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.
  • Little River Farmer’s Market
    Where: 4460 Mineola Ave. in Little River
    When: Wednesdays from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M.
  • Carolina Forest Farmer’s Market
    Where: Carolina Forest Rec Center on Carolina Forest Blvd.
    When: Thursdays from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M.
  • North Myrtle Beach Farmer’s Market
    Where: 925 1st Ave. S. in North Myrtle Beach
    When: Fridays from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.
  • The Market Common Farmer’s Market
    Where: Along Deville Street in The Market Common
    When: Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.
  • Conway Farmer’s Market
    Where: Laurel Street and 2nd Ave. in Conway
    When: Saturdays from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Healthy Grocers (Year-round)
If Farmer’s Markets aren’t your scene or it’s during the cooler part of the year, there are a growing number of affordable options for organic produce at healthy grocers. Note: You can find some organic options at most area grocery chains, such as Kroger, Lowe’s Foods and Publix. In this section, we’ll focus on alternatives to those chains where it’s common to find a wider variety of options in many cases.

  • Aldi (Three area locations)
    Conway/Carolina Forest: 101 Wild Wing Blvd., Conway, SC 295256
    South: 2625 Beaver Run Blvd., Surfside Beach, SC 29575
    North: 244 N. Kings Highway, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
    Aldi’s three locations are new to the Grand Strand area. Known in many areas as a discount grocer, Aldi stores carry a surprising amount of organic options. It’s definitely worth a visit to score organics at an affordable price.
  • Bay Naturals (Two area locations)
    Myrtle Beach: 7611 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
    North: 556 Highway 17 N., North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
    Bay Naturals is a healthy grocer that carries products similar to what you would find at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s (both of which do not presently have locations in the Grand Strand). Generally, you’ll find a larger selection of organics and your favorite national brands of natural and organic foods and other products.
  • The Fresh Market
    7747 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
    Similar to Bay Naturals, The Fresh Market is a more traditional healthy grocer with a good selection of organic produce and familiar national brands of healthy eating options and other household products. This location is the only one in the Grand Strand currently, though there are additional locations in surrounding areas and states.

There are lots of places to find healthy, organic foods around the Grand Strand. Farmer’s markets offer the freshest produce and support our local farmers, while providing lots of interesting healthy food finds. When the chill is on (or the heat), healthy grocers are another good option to find fresh organic produce.

Moving To Myrtle Beach Checklist

Moving To Myrtle Beach ChecklistMaking a major move to a new state has tons of details to keep track of throughout the entire process. The to-do list doesn’t end with unloading your belongings at your new home. There are a few things you’ll want to prepare for ahead of time or tasks to plan time for when you get here. We’ve got a handy checklist right here for you to make it easier.

  • Get your South Carolina Driver’s License or REAL ID. We list this step first because taking care of this task first makes some other tasks much easier. REAL ID is now available in South Carolina. What you’ll need to bring with you (certified copies or original documents required): Proof of identity, date of birth and U.S. citizenship (usually all three are covered by a birth certificate), Social Security card, proof of SC vehicle insurance and two bills or official pieces of mail to prove physical residence.
  • Get South Carolina license plates for your vehicle. You have only 45 days from the day you arrive in South Carolina to transfer your vehicle registration from your old state to SC. Failure to do so will cost you in the form of fees and fines. The first step to registering your vehicle in SC is to pay personal property taxes on the vehicle at your county treasurer’s office. Take the official original receipt from your property tax payment, your SC driver’s license/REAL ID (see first item in the checklist), filled out title application, registration and title documents from your previous state, proof of SC vehicle insurance, $250 Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (only pay this one time when first registering vehicle in SC) and the money for title and registration fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete your vehicle registration and get your SC license plates.
  • Set up account and start date with utility company. It’s a good idea to take care of this prior to your move-in date as many local utility companies require an up-front deposit from new residents to start service. Deposits are typically between $200 to $400 and are credited to your account or released back to you after 13 consecutive paid months of service. Depending on whether you’ll be moving to a single-family house or condo/townhome, you might need to also set up water and trash services as well.
  • Register children for school. Many schools begin registrations before the end of the previous school year. Check with your realtor on which schools are assigned for the children in your area.
  • Register to vote. To review options for voter registration and required documents, see www.scvotes.org.
  • Register yourself and your children for an ocean and beach safety class. This is very important if it will be your first time living in a coastal area. This class teaches common safety issues and beach awareness. Topics covered often include understanding advisories and swimming restrictions, jellyfish safety, recognizing/escaping riptides and keeping beaches safe for local wildlife, such as sea turtles.
  • Attend a hurricane preparedness class or seminar. Hurricane season is June through November. It’s important to know your evacuation zone, how evacuation routes work if evacuation is ordered, your nearest evacuation route and closest hurricane shelters. While beach life is relaxed most of the time, living on the coast means being prepared for tropical storms and hurricanes. Most classes also provide a checklist of items you should have stocked in your hurricane supplies should a storm knock out power.

Keeping these items on your moving-to-Myrtle-Beach-checklist will ensure you check them off in a timely manner and get settled smoothly in your new Myrtle Beach home. Moving to a new state can be overwhelming, but we hope we’ve made getting set up in South Carolina a little simpler for you.

Top 6 Reasons To Hire A Home Stager

Hire A Home Stager Myrtle BeachWhen you’re preparing to list your home for sale, you want to do everything possible to get the best selling price. Many people overlook or discard the idea of hiring a professional home stager, viewing it as an unnecessary expense. However, depending on the real estate market, professional staging can boost your home’s selling price by as much as $10,000 or even more. Here are the top 6 reasons to hire a home stager.

1. Many homeowners are unable to truly look at their home and its contents objectively. A professional home stager is an outside party who will view your home the from the perspective of the buyer. With this perspective, they can recommend repairs, updates and organizational changes to create the best impression possible with buyers.

2. You only get one chance to make a first impression – and so does your home. A professional home stager’s job is focused on ensuring your home’s first impression with buyers is one that generates interest and a quick sale.

3. Professional home staging increases the perceived value of your home and helps get it sold faster.

4. Stagers use techniques that showcase unique features or potential selling points of the home so buyers see all of the things about your home that make it special.

5. Professional stagers are experts on the latest design trends buyers look for both on the national level and are experts on local decor and trends popular in your specific market.

6. Home stagers not only highlight your home’s best features but also can transform unusual or small spaces that could confuse buyers into a space with a clear and understandable purpose.

Tips for Working with a Professional Home Stager

Obviously, home stagers can bring in a lot of valuable advice and knowledge to get your home sold quickly and for top dollar. But what’s the best way to work with a home stager? We have a few tips for that too.

  • Have your in-home consultation with your home stager before removing furniture from the home. This allows them to get a clear idea of the pieces you already have that can be used in staging. The more of your existing furnishings that can be used in the staging, the more money you save by possibly avoiding the expense of furniture rental.
  • Keep in mind that your home stager is a consultant and not a mover, packer, painter or cleaning technician. Their job is in the strategy, and not the heavy lifting. You’ll be responsible for handling packing and moving items that will be relocated to storage, any painting, carpet or flooring repairs as well as the general cleaning of the home. While some stagers have associates or resources who can help you with these tasks (for a fee), he or she will not be personally hefting your curio cabinet out for you.
  • Many realtors work with professional home stagers. Check with your listing agent for their recommendations of home stagers they’ve worked with who have done great work in the past in helping get homes sold for top dollar and in record time.

Many sellers view hiring a professional home stager as an extra expense and might question if it’s worth the cost. A great staging professional more than pays for their services in the increased sales price of the home or speed of sale, in most cases. Particularly in hot real estate markets, professional staging can help your home stand out for all the right reasons.

5 Historic Places To Visit For Myrtle Beach History Buffs

Myrtle Beach History | Atalaya CastleSouth Carolina is a state steeped in history and peppered with historic sites. Here are our top 5 favorite historic places to visit near the Grand Strand.

Brookgreen Gardens
Opened in 1931, Brookgreen Gardens is a 9,100 acre “living” museum/garden preserve of native South Carolina plants and wildlife. The location also features majestic fountains, ancient oaks dating back to at least the early 1700s, boat rides through the marshes and more than 1400 statues by sculptors from all over the world. The recently added butterfly pavilion and the zoo housing alligators and other area native animals make Brookgreen Gardens a well-rounded snapshot of Carolina flora and fauna.

Historic Downtown Conway
One of the oldest settlements on the Grand Strand, Historic Downtown Conway is a history lover’s delight. Moss-draped ancient oaks and several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, walking through this section of Conway is like walking back in time. Once a hub for the timber and turpentine industries, essential for ship-building, no visit to Conway is complete without exploring the Conway Riverwalk along the Waccamaw River. Be sure to check out the many festivals and events held in Historic Downtown Conway throughout the year.

Hopsewee Plantation
The Hopsewee Plantation, near the North Santee River, is the site of an important major 18th century rice plantation. The plantation house, constructed prior to the Revolutionary War, was also the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr. who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors can go on guided tours of the historic house, get hands-on learning the art of sweetgrass basket weaving or enjoy a spot of tea at the River Oak Cottage Tea Room.

Atalaya Castle
Located in Huntington Beach State Park, this historic site was the home of Archer and Anna Huntington. Construction of the castle began in 1931, based on plans designed by Archer Huntington using Spanish and Moorish architecture as inspiration. Within the castle walls is an open-air courtyard lush with wildflowers, palmetto trees and a forty-foot water tower, a popular spot for photography and weddings. Anna Hyatt Huntington was an artist and sculptor. Her art and works can be viewed at the adjoining Brookgreen Gardens, once part of the Huntington’s 9,000+ acre estate.

Hobcaw Barony
The Hobcaw Barony is a 16,000 acre research reserve, including lands that were originally granted to John Lord Carteret by King George I of England in 1718. The name “hobcaw” comes from the Waccamaw, a local native tribe, and means “between the waters”. The land was mostly sold and developed into several rice plantations, becoming part of the Georgetown area’s very profitable rice industry that thrived until the early 20th century. The last official owner of the land, Belle W. Baruch, created a non-profit foundation to conserve the land and its unique resources for research and education upon her death in 1964. A vision that has been maintained and expanded by local colleges and universities in the 50+ years since her passing.

The Myrtle Beach area and the Grand Strand offer many opportunities for history buffs to explore the rich heritage of the South Carolina coast. This top 5 list are just a few of the many historical highlights in Myrtle Beach history.

10 Tips to Prep Your Home to Sell in the HOT Spring Sales Season

Prep Your Home to Sell | Myrtle BeachSpring is typically the hottest sales season in real estate. If you plan to list your home this spring, we have the checklist you need to prep your home to sell and ready to attract this season’s home buyers.

1. Turn your usual spring cleaning into a full deep cleaning instead. Assume that buyers will notice everything and clean appropriately.

2. Pack up and stow away all personal items, such as family photos, knick-knacks, decorative items and any artwork or decor that is highly reflective of your personal taste that could turn off buyers.

3. Clean your home’s exterior. Spring in the Myrtle Beach area is known for the plentiful plumes of sticky yellow pollen that coat everything – including your home. Power wash siding, brick work or other material safe for power washing treatment. Power wash outdoor furniture, patios, driveways and walkways.

4. Trim or prune shrubs and trees. Weed flower beds and vegetable gardens. Make sure to haul away all yard debris to the dump or designated resource in your area.

5. Perform any external repairs such as caulking leaky gutters, repairing loose siding, scraping away peeling paint and repainting surfaces. Look over the outside of the home with a critical eye searching for any wear and tear that could turn off buyers.

6. Clean windows outside and inside. This not only looks good for curb appeal but lets more light into the home, making it feel brighter and larger.

7. Use your front patio or entryway to create a “visual invitation” for buyers. Put out a brand new welcome mat, put a fresh coat of paint on the front door, frame the walkway or entry with large vibrant potted plants and ensure house numbers are large and visible from the street (if not, replace them).

8. Be a super clutter-buster inside the home, eliminating areas where clutter tends to build up to keep the space clear for showings. Deal with mail, newspapers, magazines and flyers right away to prevent them from piling up.

9. Invite spring inside. Wash curtains and drapery (and iron if appropriate) and be sure to open window treatments during the day to let plenty of natural spring sunshine in. Turn on lights in areas of the home where natural light doesn’t reach to create a consistent feeling of airy brightness throughout the home.

10. Check for mold and mildew under sinks, near plumbing, outdoors near spigots and anyplace else where moisture or water use could foster growth. Make sure to properly remedy any mold issues you find. Even though mold is common in our area, it can make or break a sale for the buyer.

Our 10 tips to prep your home to sell this spring will give you a great head start in getting your home ready for listing and showings. Spring is sizzling hot in real estate for sellers, with speedy sales and top dollar selling prices. Our checklist helps you maximize your home sale with just a little bit of pre-listing prep.

Renting, But Want To Own? Tips To Save For Home Down Payment

Home Down Payment Myrtle BeachAs a renter, it can seem difficult to break out of the rental market and into a home of your own. Particularly in the Myrtle Beach area market, there are a couple of big factors that can keep you stuck in the cycle of ever-increasing rent. First, rental rates for most corporate-owned apartment complexes recalculate rental rates daily based on data from the local market. This means when newer and more pricey apartments are built nearby, those units get added into the calculations, making rental rates for older properties rise as well.

Secondly, the Grand Strand has a strong “moving season” where new residents flood the rental market every year to secure housing before their move. Entering into a lease during this part of the year means you could end up paying one hundred dollars per month or more in additional rent simply because of the high number of applicants and new renters securing their plans to move to the area. In recent years, seasonal increases in rental rates have begun climbing as early as late February and early March. This also means your renewals for subsequent rental years will be impacted by this seasonal rate hike as well, meaning higher renewal rates every year.

Tips to Break Free from the Rental Market Trap
You can break free from the rental market and realize your dream of owning your own home. Here are a few tips to help you save money while you’re a renter:

1. Learn how the local rental market works and avoid the seasonal rate hikes, if possible. Beginning a lease during the colder months means locking in the lowest possible rates of the year and also avoiding the larger rate increases when it comes time to renew.

2. If you aren’t renting from a corporate-owned complex, you can try negotiating with the landlord for a lower rental rate in exchange for signing a longer lease. Locking in a tenant for two years instead of one gives an individual landlord less headache and hassle of turning over the property as frequently in between renters and could provide enough incentive for them to negotiate the rate.

3. If you have the space needed, you can get a roommate to help with the rental costs and tuck away your savings toward your own home. Just make sure you follow whatever terms your lease specifies regarding roommates and discuss with your landlord prior to making this decision.

4. Consider older neighborhoods and complexes. Older complexes and neighborhoods are often still in great shape, but might not have all the newest and hottest amenities. More amenities mean more cost for the complex to operate and higher rental rates. Less amenities mean the complex carries a lower overall operating cost and might offer more affordable rental rates.

5. Track your spending. If you often pop by the coffee shop on the way to work or frequently buy lunch out instead of bringing a lunch to work, you might be able to beef up your piggy bank by cutting back on unnecessary spending. Make your coffee at home and bring it with you and use leftovers from dinner as the next day’s lunch. The money you can save with some simple changes adds up quickly.

If you dream of one day owning a home of your own but feel trapped in the rental market, there are ways to start working toward your goal! These five tips can help you get started on saving for your down payment and escape from renting. There might also be programs available to you to help with a down payment and making the leap into home ownership. Your Myrtle Beach realtor, James Haas, can tell you about options that might help you or refer you to a mortgage specialist who can help you leave the rental market behind.

Recent Jump In Mortgage Rates: What To Expect

rising interest rates Myrtle BeachSo far, 2018 has gotten off to a rising start–rising mortgage rates, that is. While rates have been on the upswing since the new year started, the first half of February featured a greater than expected jump. This jump raised mortgage rates to their highest level since April 2014 and they aren’t predicted to drop again anytime soon. Industry experts now anticipate the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates faster than was predicted just a couple of months ago. If you are looking to buy a new home, you might be wondering how this will impact you.

Pre-Qualified but Still Looking
If you have been pre-qualified but haven’t found the home of your dreams yet, you’ll want to adjust your price range a little bit lower going forward or buy sooner. When mortgage rates are lower, they take up less of the monthly mortgage payment. When mortgage rates are higher, you have a greater portion of your monthly mortgage payment going toward interest. When you pay more in interest, that decreases the range of home prices that will still work for your budget. If you’re not certain how this change will affect you, check in with your mortgage professional and your realtor to make sure you account for increasing mortgage rates in your purchasing decision.

Planning to Buy This Year
If you’re planning to buy this year, you might want to start the process sooner rather than later. Mortgage interest rates are expected to continue to rise throughout the year. Particularly if your budget is on the lower end of the homes available in your area, the increasing mortgage rates combined with the increasing home values could push homeownership out of reach for some buyers. The longer you wait to buy, the higher the cost will be or the less “house” you’ll be able to afford for the same budget.

Going forward into 2018, if mortgage rates continue to climb as analysts have predicted or climb faster than predicted, the result could be a slight cool-down on the typically hot spring home buying season. The next several weeks will be key in determining how much rates will impact the market. In some real estate markets, if rising mortgage rates reduce the number of buyers looking for a home, it could help stabilize escalating home prices that were being driven upward by a lack of inventory homes for sale to meet the number of buyers in the market. Either way, if you’re looking to buy, the time is now.  Your Myrtle Beach RE/MAX agent, James Haas, can help!