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Is Real Estate Coming Back In South Carolina?

  Click Here To Listen To Show For three years or so, there were more real estate agents quitting and getting another job than new agents coming into the real estate industry in South Carolina.  Real Estate was a tuff way to make a living for most agents.  Those that stayed in saw the number of transactions go way down along with their income.  Looking back, as tough as it was, could this have been a blessing in disguise?    As a Real Estate Instructor in South Carolina, I have the pleasure of traveling all over the state teaching and speaking to real estate agents.  Just last week, I was in Charleston speaking to a group of agents and as always, I asked how business was going in Charleston?  Everyone in the room said it is awesome.  They are all very busy with the number one comment I heard was “buyers are coming out of the woodwork right now.”  Charleston is not alone.  I have been hearing that same comment every where I go.  This year has been a come back year for sure so I was not surprised to hear those comments, but I was surprised to hear them this time of the year.  Traditionally, the fourth quarter is a very slow time of the year in real estate.  Very few transaction during this time for many reasons normally, but not this year.  Typically, the number of transaction drop off significantly during the winter, but pick up again in the early spring and all through the summer.  Agents tell me that the number of transactions are actually increasing right now and that they have never been more busy!   The tough few years have weeded out most of the agents that were not very serious about their careers.  In fact, so many agents gave up their license and went back into the work force, many multi-office companies around South Carolina had to close several offices and consolidate. The tough times also taught real estate agents the necessity to budget carefully and stick to it.  The agents that stuck to their business plans and budget have learned to be very disciplined which are now paying big dividends.  I thought I would never say this, but today, we actually have a shortage of real estate agents in many areas around the state.  With the substantial increase in business (Buyers and Sellers), many agents actually have more than they can manage properly.  The hardest thing to do right now is to turn down business but someone has to do it.   Real Estate is obviously on its way back and in a big way!!  My guest on Success In Real Estate this past week was Erica West, Mortgage Consultant with New American Mortgage.  Erica backs up the comments we are hearing from real estate agents by saying the number of home loans she is processing right now are unbelievable.  She is seeing huge increases in new home loans as well as current homeowners re-financing because the interest rates are still going down!  Today, home buyers can get a 30 year fixed loan around 3.5 %.  If you are thinking of buying or refinancing, you must give Erica West a call and talk to her.  Erica and New American Mortgage will guarantee a clear to close in seven (7) days or less!!  Most lenders are taking 4 to 6 weeks.  This is incredible.  Give Erica West a call at 803-528-5019.   If you are interested in getting your South Carolina Real Estate License, we would love to have attend our Real Estate School For Success.  We will train you to not only pass the state exam, but also teach you how to build a lucrative career in the Real Estate Industry.  We also offer many other licensing courses such as Property Manager, Appraiser, Home Inspector, etc.  The Real Estate School For Success is an approved MyCAA provider, which allows for many military spouses to take all classes at no charge.  Give us a call for details.  You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  Mortgage  

What is the Difference between a Green Home and a Healthy Home?

    CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO RADIO SHOW Most people are familiar with Green Homes, but are you familiar with Healthy Homes?  Green Homes are designed and constructed to be energy efficient whereas Healthy Homes are designed and constructed to be Healthy.  The attached episode from Success In Real Estate is a must hear if you or your family is suffering from allergies.  Jason Starnes is building one of the first Healthy Homes in the Midlands of South Carolina.  Jason has spent years investigating and studying how a Healthy Home should be constructed.   The first step is to find a contractor that understands how you want the home built and will not try to cut corners or use materials not specifically designed for a Healthy Home.  Prescriptions for a Healthy House is an excellent reference book for finding healthy materials and construction practices.  As the homeowner, you will need to clearly document your instructions to the contractor and personally approve all materials.  You will certainly want to work with a qualified consultant or architect who has experience in building a Healthy Home.   Materials for a Healthy Home can be found at most local Supply Store, such as Lowes, Home Depot, ect.  However, you must know what to look for when shopping or ordering materials.  Materials needed for Healthy Homes will not contain chemicals such as formaldehyde-treated composite which can cause severe reactions to those with allergies.  These materials are available, but are not typically labeled in the store for consumers to know which have formaldehyde or those that do not.  Chemical free material may cost a little bit more but should not be significantly higher.   Also on the show this week is Tim Mosley, owner of Carolina Conditions.  Tim fully understands how clean air is critical to having a Healthy Home.  Your HVAC system can be causing or inflaming allergies.  A Healthy HVAC will have special filtration components to ensure contaminated air will not be coming into your home.  Air ducts can get very dirty and actually grow contaminants which you and your family will be breathing.  Air ducts must be installed and sealed properly to ensure complete system balance and safe air.  Call Tim Mosley if you would like a free inspection of your entire HVAC system.  The most expensive filter you have in your home is your lungs.  You owe it to yourself and family to ensure you can live a healthy life at home!  You may contact Tim Mosley at 803-233-4097   If you are interested in getting your South Carolina Real Estate License, we would love to have attend our Real Estate School For Success.  We will train you to not only pass the state exam, but also teach you how to build a lucrative career in the Real Estate Industry.  We also offer many other licensing courses such as Property Manager, Appraiser, Home Inspector, etc.  The Real Estate School For Success is an approved MyCAA provider, which allows for many military spouses to take all classes at no charge.  Give us a call for details.  You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  HEALTHY    

Competent and Dependable Contractors can be hard to find!!

If you are in need of a Professional Contractor to fix and/or repair anything around your home, the man to call is Jeremy Johnson, owner of Crescent Construction, LLC.  Jeremy has been a licensed contractor for many years and will fix any problem you have, regardless of size.  Crescent Construction has an office in Irmo, SC, 121 Centrum Drive, Suite #2, which is always fully staffed and open every day!  With Crescent Construction, you never have to worry about fly by night contractors that take your money and never really fix the problem and cannot locate them after they have been paid.   As a Real Estate Agent in South Carolina, I know how critical it is to know a highly competent contractor that will come out immediately to give free estimates so my buyers and sellers can make an informed decision when buying/selling their home.  Time is of the essence with Real Estate Contracts and a contractor that is non-responsive can kill a deal very quickly.  Homebuyers will typically have a home inspection completed within 10 days of acceptance of an offer.  If the home inspector finds issues that need repair or replacement, the buyer will often times require the seller to make the repairs prior to closing.  Before the seller will agree to make repairs, they need to know what the expense will actually be.  Jeremy will provide that expense estimate within 24 hours of receiving the call.  You can rest assured the job will be performed right and complete in a very short time.   Often times repairs needed on the exterior of the home are created by “Acts of God” which is typically covered by homeowners insurance.  Crescent Construction has a trained staff to coordinate repairs needed through your insurance company so you don’t need to spend valuable time of your own.  For instance, hail can cause extensive damage to a roof, siding, and windows.  Crescent Construction will come out and evaluate the damage and cause of damage.  If the damage is caused by a hail storm, you may likely get a new roof and paid by your insurance company!   You can contact Jeremy Johnson at 803-361-3744 or stop by his office at 121 Centrum Drive, Suite #2, Irmo, SC.  His Contractor License Number is GC #G117066.    If you are interested in getting your South Carolina Real Estate License, we would love to have attend our Real Estate School For Success.  We will train you to not only pass the state exam, but also teach you how to build a lucrative career in the Real Estate Industry.  We also offer many other licensing courses such as Property Manager, Appraiser, Home Inspector, etc.  The Real Estate School For Success is an approved MyCAA provider, which allows for many military spouses to take all classes at no charge.  Give us a call for details.  You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  Repairs   Click below to listen to show  6-9-12.mp3 (64.81 mb)

FHA / VA Government Loans

Aun and McKay Law Firm Is the door you are opening an Opportunity or an Obstacle?  Andy Aun, with Aun and McKay Law Firm, addresses this issue and much more on today’s Success in Real Estate Show.  Homebuyers applying for FHA or VA financing should understand that the Contract of Sale must include addenda that could become substantial obstacles if one does not have competent representation.   Andy Aun is not your typical real estate attorney.  In addition to closing loans for real estate, Andy is also a trial lawyer.  Andy Aun provided training to real estate agents and the public by giving advice and suggestions on avoiding closing pitfalls for homebuyers and home sellers as well as avoiding unnecessary liability for South Carolina Real Estate Agents.   This months “Out of the Box Marketing Seminar”, will cover issues such as:   ·        Understanding the Key Differences between our contract of sale and the Government imposed Contractual Addenda ·        How these differences impact the lender’s ability to qualify your deal ·        To what extent are the governmental addenda negotiable   FHA and VA loans are Government Loans that add additional stipulations to the agreement (contract of sale) between buyers and sellers.  These stipulations include; 1)      These addenda require the homebuyer to pledge whether they will live in the home or not.  2)      2) If applying for a VA loan, the property must have a Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV) that indicates the sales price does not the market value (CRV).  Although the VA offers 100% financing, the VA will not loan more than the CRV amount.   If applying for FHA financing, the sales price cannot exceed the appraised value.  If the property does not appraise for the purchase price or more, the buyer may walk away from the contract and have all earnest monies returned. 3)      Seller must agree to repair or replace all defects noted on the appraisal. 4) Seller must provide buyer a termite inspection (CL-100 Letter) and repair any necessary damages caused by termites. 4)      Seller must agree to pay for certain buyer loan related closing costs.   Please find the Seminar Flyer attached below for dates and times.   Anytime you are considering buying a new home or refinancing your current home, I recommend you speak to a lender that you or your agent knows and trusts.  One lender you will be glad you spoke to is Erica West, with New American Mortgage.  Erica is an expert in all loan programs as well SC down payment Assistance Programs.  If she knows another lender can provide a better product, she will be the first to suggest you speak to them.  Erica will go out of her way to protect your best interest.  You can reach Erica by calling (803) 528-5019.   If you are interested in getting your South Carolina Real Estate License, we would love to have attend our Real Estate School For Success.  We will train you to not only pass the state exam, but also teach you how to build a lucrative career in the Real Estate Industry.  We also offer many other licensing courses such as Property Manager, Appraiser, Home Inspector, etc.  The Real Estate School For Success is an approved MyCAA provider, which allows for many military spouses to take all classes at no charge.  Give us a call for details.  You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  Government loans  Seminar.bmp (1.98 mb)  Seminar Flyer   [mp3:Track01.cda]  Success in Real Estate Radio Show  [mp3:Track02.cda]

South Carolina Real Estate Financing

Today was the inauguration of the Success In Real Estate Radio Show on Carolina 92.1 FM and what a great show it was!  The first objective in buying or selling real estate is Financing.  Most South Carolina Real Estate transactions require approved financing and the one person you need to talk to is Erica West, with New American Mortgage.  Erica can have the underwriting complete and ready to close within seven days of a property going under contract!   You may call Erica West at 803-528-5019   We discussed in great detail many different types of financing available today.  Erica West can have a buyer approved and ready to close within one week of the property going under contract.  I know that sound to good to be true, but it is true!  It is so important to have someone who knows the right questions to ask to ensure you not only get approved for a loan, but a loan that would be in your best interest depending on your goals and objectives.   We also talked about the 2012 Palmetto Heroes Program.  Under this program, Palmetto Heroes can get a loan with a fixed rate of 3.75% and $5000 to go towards your down payment.  Palmetto Heroes include; Law Enforcement Officers, Correctional Officers, Teachers, Fire Fighters, Nurses, Veterans, and EMS Personnel.   Erica explained how homebuyers could purchase homes that need repairs at incredibly low prices and include the money needed to make all repairs in the financing.  This is called the FHA 203-k loan.  This is a government loan, used when purchasing an owner occupied property, which includes required funds to make necessary repairs that may be required.  The end result is that the homebuyer now owns a home with substantial equity in the home after repairs are made.  The homeowner or purchaser cannot complete any of this work; only licensed contractors can complete the work.  We also discussed USDA loans for homes in Rural areas.    If you are interested in getting your South Carolina Real Estate License, we would love to have you attend our Real Estate School For Success.  We will train you to not only pass the state exam, but teach you how to build a lucrative career in the Real Estate Industry.  We also offer many other licensing courses such as Property Manager, Appraiser, Home Inspector, etc.  The Real Estate School For Success is an approved MyCAA provider, which allows for many military spouses to take all classes at no charge.  Give us a call for details.  You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  Finance    Click below to listen to the Success In Real Estate Radio show  5-5-12.mp3 (68.29 mb)

South Carolina Property Taxes

Talk to any potential buyer or seller of real estate in South Carolina, you can expect the subject of property taxes to come up very quickly.  It’s a big issue for many reasons and rightfully so.    Now is a great time to buy real estate in South Carolina, and for the first time in several years, the potential of selling is now looking good as well.  Inventories are at lowest numbers in five years, the average sales price is up nearly $10,000 from this time last year, and the interest rates are still very low.  South Carolina property taxes are near the lowest in the country for residential homes IF it will be owner occupied.   However, commercial real estate that includes non-owner occupied residential property (investment/rental property) is among the highest taxes in the country.  Investment property is taxed at the 6% assessment rate whereas owner occupied property is taxed at the 4% assessment rate.  After all, the math is calculated, the 6% rate results in about twice the taxes owed than the 4% rate.  Effective January 1, 2013, many real estate sales will have an additional 3.8% tax charged to the seller of real estate.  The 3.8% real estate tax is part of the Health Care bill to help pay for the cost of health care.   South Carolina Real Estate Licensees must understand how the property taxes will affect real estate transactions so they explain it properly to potential buyers and sellers of real estate.  Andy Aun, Attorney with Aun and McKay Law Firm, will be holding this months tutor and tour seminar on Thursday, March 29th, at Cobblestone Farms in Lexington, SC.  This seminar is open to the everyone at no charge.  Some of the topics to be discussed include: ·        Issues to consider when advising clients in real estate transactions ·        Options which allow for the 4% assessment rate on investment properties ·        3.8% real estate tax under the Health Care law ·        Changes in law relating to SC tax assessments   If you would like to attend this free seminar, contact Angela, with Aun and McKay Law Firm. to RSVP.  The RSVP is required to make sure we have enough food and drinks for everyone.  You can find all the information about this seminar in the flyer attached below.   If you are considering a Real Estate License to start a new career or even to make some money part time in Real Estate, we would love to help you become a Successful Real Estate Agent at the Real Estate School for Success.  We have classes for any type of license you would be interested in to include, a SC Real Estate License, SC Appraisers License, SC Property Managers License or SC Home Inspectors License.      You can also receive a 10% discount on any class by entering the promo code below when you register on line at the Real Estate School for Success.   Discount/Promo Code is:  tax  Taxation without Rationalization Seminar1.pdf (141.20 kb)     Click Here to listen to Succes in Real Estate Show.