Prices of homes for sale in Charleston, South Carolina significantly declined in 2009. On average, Charleston area home values are about 15% lower compared to 2008. The lower property values have caught the attention of international and local home buyers searching for amazing deals on Charleston properties. If you want to find a great deal on home in the Charleston area you are not alone. The best priced homes in areas like Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston are receiving multiple offers a few days after listings for sale on MLS.
The combination of truly historic market conditions and the media hype have created both risks and opportunities for today’s home buyers. There are a few things you can do to take advantage of the market and avoid the many pitfalls.
First, do your homework. Research Charleston real estate online and find a Charleston real estate agent to show you houses and neighborhoods. Your real estate agent must understand your neighborhood and home preferences. Once you narrow your home search and target your top 5 neighborhoods in Charleston your real estate agent should give you recent market reports for each neighborhood, provide homeowners association documents and send new home listing updates.
Second, you must be pre-approved for a mortgage and have the necessary down payment. If you are not yet in a position to buy find out why and fix the problems. If you have a home to sell before you can take advantage of the current buyer’s market selling your home should be your first priority. Sell stocks and other assets that will need to be liquidated to have the funds ready to purchase a home.
Third, you need to have realistic expectations. If you want to find a great deal on a home in Charleston you should be willing to make some minor repairs and updating. Foreclosures or bank owned properties in Charleston often require the new homeowners to make substantial repairs after closing. If you are buying a “short sale” in Charleston, plan on the closing taking at least 90 days after the contract has been ratified. Banks negotiate, approve and sometimes reject real estate contracts to purchase both short sale and bank owned properties. Again, your Realtor will be able to estimate when your closing should take place.
Finally, do not get discouraged. Even if your offer is the first one submitted on a home the sellers may receive more favorable offers from other buyers and reject yours. It is often necessary to submit offers to purchase multiple homes for sale in Charleston to get a great deal. Some of the best deals in the Charleston real estate market are short sales which, for various reasons, do not sell to the first buyer with a ratified contract.