Anyone who has been following the Charleston real estate market is aware of the historical run we have had this spring. Buying and selling activity have never been higher in the history of Charleston real estate. With that said, there are some very important factors to consider before rushing in to close on a good deal. Many people shopping for a new home in the Charleston area are from out of state where prices, costs and concerns can be vastly different.
For example, many folks moving from northeastern sates typically have higher property taxes there while insurance costs are relatively low. Conversely, here in Charleston these costs are flip flopped where property taxes are low while insurance costs tend to be higher due to our proximity to the coast where the risk of flooding is greater. Be sure to explore those costs by talking to a local insurance agent before getting too far into the buying process as this could save you thousands of dollars a year.
South Carolina also differs from other states in their incentives for first-time homebuyers. “All that’s required in most counties, including Berkeley and Dorchester, is that the buyer doesn’t own another primary residence at the time they close on a home purchase. In other counties, including Charleston, you’re a first-time buyer if you haven’t owned a home in three years.” One of the best incentives is the mortgage credit certificate. This “allows you to claim an annual federal tax credit equal to 30 percent of the interest paid on a mortgage loan, worth up to $2,000 each year. It’s a federal tax credit, but you can only get it by obtaining one of these certificates during the home loan process.”
Other incentives include the Palmetto Heroes Program which offers up to $8,000 down-payment assistance as well as a 3%, 30 year fixed mortgage interest rate for law enforcement officers, teachers, nurses, firefighters, veterans and active SC National Guardsmen. For more information, contact one of the Realtors® or banks certified in SC Housing programs. A list is available at the agency’s website: SCHousing.com. You can also call 803.896.2211.
If you are new to the Charleston area, checkout our Explore Charleston page which has a breakdown of neigborhoods, restaurants and attractions in each major area of Charleston or search all properties for sale in the Charleston market: Search All Charleston Real Estate.
If you are thinking about buying a home in Charleston, have questions about the buying or selling process or just don’t know where to start, contact me anytime:
Search All Charleston Real Estate