There are many reasons that some people like apartment living; they tout the amenities offered at the complexes, the convenience of having a landlord, and the affordability of a rental payment. However, with the wide variety of real estate available here in Charleston, renters can easily become homeowners–while still retaining all of the benefits of renting. Here are a few things to consider if you’re still renting:
- Purchasing a home doesn’t mean you need to save up thousands of dollars. Some renters are wary of making the jump into home ownership because of the down payment required at closing. Traditionally, 20% of the purchased home’s value is required at the closing, which translates to the purchasers needing a significant amount of cash available. However, there a several programs that can make the down payment more affordable. If you’re a first time homebuyer, consider an FHA loan, which requires only 3.5% down at closing. You might also consider an 80/10/10 loan (only available through banks), which includes a simultaneous home equity line of credit (called a HELOC) and a mortgage; you only have to bring 10% to the table. If you are a teacher, firefighter, police officer or active military, you may be eligible for down payment assistance through Hometown Heroes.
- You can keep all of the cool amenities that you love. Since there’s a huge push towards resort-style living in the current real estate market, developers have begun to include more amenities in their planned communities. Daniel Island, Park West, and Dunes West all have miles and miles of walking trails. I’on has playgrounds, on-site shopping, and concerts at the neighborhood ampitheatre. Most larger developments have clubhouses with pools and weight rooms. In developments like Carolina Park, expect to find all of the above as well as barbecue pits and outdoor entertaining space, a dog park, and an oyster pavilion. You won’t sacrifice fun when you make the transition from your old apartment.
- Home ownership is accessible to more people than ever. Between the down payment programs mentioned above and the low mortgage rates available right now, it’s extremely affordable to purchase a home. With rental rates in the Charleston area averaging around $900 for a 2 bed/ 2 bath unfurnished apartment, you can actually get more for your money with your own home. With low interest rates, you can easily get more square footage for the same amount of money. For example, if you were to purchase a home for $130,000 with an FHA loan (so with 3.5%–$3,500–down) and a 4.1% rate, your monthly payments would be $758 a month. It’s cheaper, you can paint your walls any color you want, and you’re investing in your future.
Consider purchasing a home today, and call Matt Anderson of Matt Anderson Properties to help you through the process.