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Tips For Getting The Best Mortgage Rate

By Around Charleston


We would like to thank our featured guest bloggers this week at Home City Real Estate in Austin, Texas for providing this great information about some common, but difficult questions regarding the mortgage process:

Tips for Getting the Best Mortgage Rate

Searching for the perfect home can be a long and confusing process, especially for first time home buyers. While finding a great property is most likely the first thing on your mind, there are few aspects of a home search more important to ensuring a healthy financial future than finding the best available mortgage for your individual needs. When it comes to mortgage rates, a seemingly small improvement can save you thousands over the life of the loan, so it can definitely pay to properly prepare and shop around before getting too deep into a home search. So, what are the most important things to keep in mind in order to ensure an ideal home loan? To start, finding a great real estate agent is a good idea for any home search, as having professional assistance is never a bad thing when making a huge financial commitment. Let’s take a look at some other things to keep in mind in order to help you get the best possible mortgage.

Before you begin your hunt for a new home, take the time to adequately prepare your finances. Taking a look at your debt-to-income ratio, credit reports and savings will give you a better idea of your potential housing budget.

There are three major items to keep in mind before applying for a mortgage. First, perform your own analysis of your debt-to-income ratio. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of home you can legitimately afford, which can save you plenty of headaches down the road. Next, your credit report will play a major factor in lenders’ decisions regarding your application. Be sure to work out negative items on all three of your credit reports before applying. Finally, it is a real benefit to have a substantial down payment when searching for a mortgage. The more cash you’ve got to apply to your home purchase, the more attractive you’ll be to potential lenders.

Special mortgage programs are available from a variety of sources to help make the home buying process easier for qualified buyers. Find out if you qualify for any special programs, and your housing search could get a little less costly.

Special programs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so it can be a good idea to check with your real estate agent for important options worthy of a look. According to NerdWallet, popular programs include VA loans, which offer veterans lower down payment requirements and protection in the event of missed payments; FHA loans, which require as little as 3.5 percent down and are more forgiving of low credit scores; and USDA loans, which are available in rural areas with low down payments and minimal closing costs. It’s always a good idea to prepare before beginning a home search, but special mortgage programs are great options if your financial outlook is less than ideal.

Mortgages come in two main types: fixed rate and adjustable rate. Research the current market to find the better choice for your financial needs, and keep the pros and cons of each type in mind before committing to a loan.

Choosing between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages depends on personal preferences, as both have potential upsides to take into consideration. On one hand, fixed rate mortgages allow you to lock in your interest rate for the course of the loan. If rates are low, this is a great way to protect yourself from increases in the future. On the other hand, adjustable rate mortgages fluctuate over the life of the loan. Typically, these loans feature attractive introductory rates, but it’s important to remember that your monthly mortgage payment could increase substantially following the introductory period. With adjustable rate mortgages fluctuating based on a standardized index, your monthly costs could be much higher (or lower) at points over the life of the loan.

Searching for the best mortgage isn’t always as simple as finding the lowest interest rates. Avoid focusing solely on interest rates in order to ensure that you’re getting the best overall deal for your budget.

According to BankRate, there is more to consider when choosing a mortgage than interest rates. Protect your financial future by evaluating mortgages from every angle in order to prevent a costly mistake. Additional costs, such as discount points, origination fees, underwriting fees and document preparation fees, are important to keep in mind, as well as any prepayment penalties, which could make the possibility of refinancing in the future more difficult. If you’re unsure, depend on your real estate agent for the advice you’ll need to get the perfect mortgage.

Rob C. loves Georgetown area homes, playing ultimate Frisbee and agility with his dog.


Do you have questions about the mortgage process?

Email me anytime: [email protected]

Call me: (843) 437-8386.


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Charleston, SC

24 Hours in Charleston

By Around Charleston, Charleston Dining

Charleston, SC

Our gorgeous town of Charleston, South Carolina has seen it’s fair share of publicity and press recently. It began with Oprah – naming Charleston the best place in America to eat back in 2008. Then the New York Times started picking up on the energy of the town – telling its readers that our town is the cure to leave the stress of big city life behind, if only for a weekend getaway.

 It wasn’t long before Southwest Airlines grounded roots in our little airport, making Charleston an accessible 1-2 hour direct flight from Chicago, D.C, New York, Boston and Nashville, to name a few. Charleston had always been a destination for weddings and beach vacations for folks in the Southeast, but in the past 5 years, there has been a nationwide buzz about the Lowcountry. It’s easy to see why. We’ve got it all. Old-world charm, a slower pace of life, world-class cuisine, distinctive local art and the the most beautiful, Lowcountry waters – 3 beaches and a marshland ecosystem not found anywhere else in the world.

But none of this is new to you. If you’re reading this and don’t already live in Charleston, you’ve probably visited a handful of times or more – because once people come to Charleston, they come back again, and again, and again. So here is an outline of living like a local for 24 hours during the Fall season:

 4pm : Check into the Elliot House Inn

f30a3a81974e415c0c15ca87d68646c0This quaint little inn is nestled in Harleston Village – a residential neighborhood of historic downtown – and offers all the charm of a bed and breakfast with the cleanliness and professionalism of a 4 star hotel. You’ll be in the heart of the peninsula so getting around town will be a breeze.

5:30pm : Cocktails at The Vendue Rooftop

Vendue Rooftop in Charleston, SC

There is a reason it has been voted the best rooftop bar by locals for the past 7 years. Plush couches, multiple levels to lounge and a view 360 view of the city from river to river make the atmosphere perfect for sunset drinks. Order the Hot Lolita to drink and the Ceviche of Local Seafood to share. If you aren’t feeling seafood just yet, the Edamame Hummus is made in house and to die for.

7:00pm : Dinner at FIG

nmnThis restaurant gets it right, starting with it’s name, an acronym for Food Is. Good. The menu changes weekly andsometimes even daily, depending on what is local and available. You’ll be wow’d by the creativity of dishes offered, the unique flavors and pairings, and the reasonable pricing of everything on the menu. If you want to eat like a local, it doesn’t get better than FIG.

 9:30pm : Nightcap at The Gin Joint

Gin Joint in Charleston, SCDon’t be fooled by this little bar’s big East Bay street address. You might miss it if you aren’t looking for it, which is one reason it is so cool. It almost feels like a speakeasy because it can be so hard to find. Once there, grab a seat on the garden patio and put an order of Peanut Butter Bar Bites in for dessert. When you’re ready to order your drink here is a tip: give your waiter two adjectives – yes, as in descriptive words – and the bartender will come up with a customized drink that tastes like the adjectives you’ve given.

 9am : Wake up at the Marion Square Farmers Market
Marion Square in Charleston, SC

Marion Square in Charleston, SC

 Head to the center of the peninsula (about a mile walk from Elliot House Inn) and go straight to the Vietnamese Coffee truck. Once the coffee defogs your brain, you’ll be ready to decide on one of the many breakfast options at the market. Do you want omelettes, crepes or made to order donuts? Want a breakfast burrito? Look for the Roti Rolls food truck. Sit in the park, enjoy your breakfast, and then resist the urge to fall into a food coma by walking the market and browsing dozens and dozens of local artist’s tents. If you’re staying longer than 24 hours, pick up your groceries from all the local farmers that set up shop every weekend.

 11am : Rent paddleboards or kayaks at Charleston Paddler  
Charleston Paddler

Charleston Paddler

The best time in Charleston to get out on the water, in my opinion, is the Fall. The summer sun hangs in the sky and warms your skin while the crisp air keeps you cool throughout the day. It is a much needed reprieve from August and September’s soaring heat indexing and humidity – trust me, you’ll never want to be inside during the Fall in the Lowocountry. Head to Shem Creek and you’ll be able to experience the scenic waterways of Mount Pleasant.

3pm : Late lunch at the The Obstinate Daughter


 You might think I would suggest going to Poe’s for lunch since I’m telling you to drive to Sullivan’s Island, but I know my readers better than that – you’ve already been there a dozen times and while the pimento cheese burger and fries are heavenly, your 24 hours is coming to a close and there is no way you’ll be able to drive home with a belly full of Poe’s. Instead, go to Sullivan’s Island newest restaurant, The Obstinate Daughter. Order the Faro Salad to start and the Old Danger pizza as your main.

 4pm : Beach + gelato at Beardcat’s Sweetshop

You’re going to need something sweet bCharleston, South Carolinaut light for desert. Head just below The Obstinate Daughter and order the cinnamon gelato at Beardcat’s Sweetshop. Homemade gelato. Need I say more? Take your scoop (or 3) to the beach and end your 24 hours in Charleston with a lazy Sullivan’s Island bike ride.