Realtors can provide many insights into neighborhoods, economic trends, and home pricing – all while taking your family’s well-being into consideration. The line of questions typically begins with: What are you looking for in a home? Are you approved for a loan? Are there any specific locations you are considering? How much are you looking to spend?
The answers to these questions will give the Realtor a baseline to make recommendations of homes to their clients and advice based on the dollar amount a buyer would like to spend.
When this happens, the question “What can you afford?” has taken the place of “What do you actually need?” as the starting point for most home buyers. This line of thinking has resulted in a deep over-housing problem. Over-housing is the concept of paying too much money for housings, in relation to one’s income.
For that reason – you should always start your home search focusing on one critical question that many Realtors may ever tell you:
Buy only the home you need, not the house you can afford.
Don’t let yourself fall into the mindset of “buy as much and as big as possible”. Too often, the dollar amount that a lender has approved for the home buyer becomes the starting price range that the buyer begins searching for.
For example, if a buyer is pre-approved for a $500,000 loan, many buyers begin searching for the biggest house they can afford for exactly $500,000. Often times, this is encouraged by the lender and/or Realtor. This is because the larger the sale, the greater their profit.
Buyers too often create a list of “wants” for their new home while “actual need” is disregarded completely.
Bigger and more is so frequently interpreted to mean better. This ideology has resulted in the average American home tripling in size in the last 50 years. With little regard for the negative consequences, buyers too often purchase bigger and bigger homes, whatever size their income allows.
This thinking has detrimental effects on our well-being. We typically use on 40% of our living space on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the increased debt can contribute to mental and emotional distress. All of this excess space carries additional financial cost – whether the square footage is being used or not.
More is not always better. There are benefits to living in a smaller home. It is easier to maintain, less expensive, assumes less financial risk, results in less environmental impact, and frees up our resources to pursue life’s other passions.
Buying a home is a personal decision that should never be taken lightly. Only you know all the variables that will come into play when making your decision. But too often, the most important piece of home buying advice is what you hear least: Buy only the home you need, not the house you can afford.READ MORE
Generation Progress, a national progressive advocacy and action network for young people, recently cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which shed positive light on the Millennial labor market - especially for ages 25 - 34. Older Millennials have a much higher percentage of labor force participation than the national average.
Buying a first home could be a reality for many Millennials who are actively working and earning better salaries than years past. If you have already been planning on buying a first home - is it really time to take the plunge?
Buying a home is more complicated than it seems. The home you may be able to afford now, may not be your forever home. The most common type of home purchased remains the detached single-family home. The best approach is to weigh your options on whether to buy a starter home or keep saving for purchasing down the road.
Mortgage rates are low - so it is a terrific time to buy. Sales are rising, supply is dropping, and prices have increased in many areas. Compared to next year, today's market may be a bargain. If you choose strategically - you may be making a wise investment that will build future value.
Do the math. You may have enough money stashed away for a down payment, but that does not include closing costs, property taxes, maintenance, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, landscaping, etc. It is estimated that maintenance and repairs can total 1 - 2% of your annual mortgage costs.
So how does a Millennial move forward? Take a deep breath and compare your budget with your expectations. Consider things like your potential family size and your job/income flow. Compare the total amount of money you will be spending over time, and subtract the potential value you may receive if you someday sell the property.
Most starter homes are only intended to be lived in for 5 years. Many young buyers are looking for close proximity to urban areas. There are so many factors to consider when buying a starter home, and the decisions are not easy. We believe in homeownership, but realize that loans bring stress and responsibility. However, you may look back over your decisions in life and be disappointed by the opportunities that you passed on. Get out there and explore, dream, and discover. Don't be afraid to take chances when the timing is right.READ MORE
Welcome to your Dream Home on Seabrook Island - This fully furnished, meticulously renovated and maintained golf-course home has a private pool and is located within walking distance of the Seabrook Beach Club.READ MORE
Our latest Blog entry is an article from Freshome - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine. The article lays out clear expectations and objectives of a home inspection. Take a look over this list before sending out an inspector to look over your property.READ MORE
Attention all equestrians and outdoor enthusiasts! If you have a passion for horses, a love of nature, and a desire to be off the beaten path - you need look no further. This featured property is situated in Polly Point Plantation - a stunning gated community situated on a tidal marsh in beautiful Wadmalaw Island. This 3 story, 5 bedroom, 4 and a half bathroom estate sits on 7.61 acres and includes a horse barn, fenced in pastures, and many modern amenities.READ MORE
Have you ever dreamed of owning a custom built home with spectacular waterfront views? This featured listing sits on 1.3 elevated acres, which are 18 feet higher than the surrounding marsh. This seven bedroom, seven bathroom estate is situated on James Island in Fort Johnson EstatesREAD MORE
Are you having trouble finding a quiet country setting on a large lot, while remaining close to the Charleston Area? Look no further than our featured property in the highly desirable gated community of River Run on John's Island. This five bedroom, four and a half bath custom built beauty that sits on a private 5.07 acre lot where you can see deer and egrets during the day and listen to frogs and crickets at night.READ MORE
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“At Matt O'Neill Real Estate, our first core value is integrity and we ALWAYS put our client's needs before our own. This is the reason over 1/2 of our business comes by way of referral and why we are one of the top-selling real estate teams in the country."