Myrtle Beach Real Estate Blog

Home Insurance Guide for New Home Buyers

Basic Information About Homeowner's Insurance For BuyersAfter making an offer on a home, home buyers applying for a mortgage must get a homeowner's insurance policy. When that happens, it's helpful to know exactly what homeowners insurance is, about how much it costs, and whether or not it's a requirement of purchasing the home. For a new home buyer, this guide can help.

What Is Homeowner's Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance that insures a dwelling and belongings in the event of a covered disaster. Homeowners insurance usually comes as a package that includes a variety of other protections, like liability insurance to protect homeowners from legal action in the event that someone is injured on the property.

Is Homeowner's Insurance A Requirement?

Homeowners insurance is usually a requirement if the homeowner gets a mortgage. Lenders require buyers to get insurance to protect the property. Insurance coverage must be in place when the home is bought or the financing will not go through.

The mortgage lender will continue to require proof of insurance throughout the life of the loan. In the event that the insurance coverage lapses, the lender will purchase a policy for the buyer and add the payment for the policy to the monthly bill. Typically, these insurance policies are much more expensive than the policies that homeowners would get...

Making an Outdoor Living Space? These Tips Can Help!

Creating An Outdoor Living Area in Your Back YardOutdoor living space is all the rage! Whether you're a homeowner just converting a small patio, or you're a home buyer working on the design for your new house, installing an outdoor living space can boost your home's value and improve your quality of life in the process. A good outdoor living space will include the comforts of home, a place to make food, privacy, and electricity. When you're working on your plans for your Litchfield by the Sea outdoor living space, these tips will help.

Make the Space Comfortable

Today's homeowners like to buy sophisticated furniture for their outdoor spaces. In fact, a lot of outdoor furniture is nearly as comfortable as indoor furniture! In addition to cushioned outdoor patio furniture, buy some extra blankets and throw pillows to keep on hand while you're lounging in comfort outside. To the side, install a water proof outdoor storage bin where you can keep your blankets and pillows safe when they're not in use. These comforts are especially useful when hosting outdoor parties in chilly weather.

Turn On The Heat

Every living space needs a heat source, and your outdoor living space is no different. If you're on a budget, a simple fire pit will do. If you have a bigger budget, an outdoor gas fireplace could be even better. Talk to a licensed contractor if you're...

6 Ways to Stay Organized While Moving to a New Home

Stay Organized While Moving to a New HomeMoving can be a chaotic time. Between packing every last thing into a box and making sure it gets onto the moving truck and then unpacking at the new home, it can be a wonder that anyone is able to keep track of it all. Here are six strategies homeowners can use while moving into a new home to stay as organized as possible.

1. Start Early

Packing an entire home’s worth of possessions is going to take a long time, and there’s no way it can be done in the two days before the move date. Starting early can help prevent the rush right before the deadline where everything gets thrown into the nearest box, and it can also allow the homeowner to take inventory of everything they have so nothing gets lost or overlooked. 

2. Get Rid of Excess

Packing to move can be an excellent time to really sort through possessions and weed out things that are old, broken, or never used. Space is limited on the moving truck, so it’s important for homeowners to get rid of the things they no longer want or need. This can making packing much more efficient because homeowners don’t have to worry about as many boxes making it from point A to point B.

3. Pack One Room at a Time

When packing to move to a new home, it’s easy to get disorganized. However, homeowners can help keep...

How to Make Your Home Stand Out in a Buyer’s Market

6 Ways To Make Your Home Stand Out in a Competitive MarketSelling a home can be tricky, and selling a home in a buyer’s market where there are far more homes than there are buyers can be difficult for homeowners who are unfamiliar with good strategies to make their home more appealing to buyers. These strategies can be used by any homeowner, new or experienced, to help their home sell in a buyer’s market.

Take High Quality Pictures For Online Listings

Chances are, the first time a buyer will see a home is in an online listing, so it’s important for the homeowner to have lots of pictures available. The more pictures that are available online, the more buyers may be enticed to come visit it in person, where they can truly fall in love with the home.

Taking pictures is easier now than ever because of the ever-increasing quality of cell phone cameras, so homeowners shouldn’t feel the need to go out and buy a brand new camera just to sell their home. However, it’s worth noting that if a seller can’t take professional quality pictures on their own, they ought to consult a professional to ensure their home’s photography stands out.

Clean and Get Rid of Clutter Before Showing

Buyers love to see clean homes because it means they actually get to see the home, rather than all the things that...

Are Damaged Foundations Fixable?

Can You Fix Foundation Damage?Conventional wisdom says to walk away from a home in need of foundation repair. But are there exceptions to this rule? In some cases, foundation damage is fixable—and home buyers who've fallen in love with a house can proceed with purchase, whether in Grande Dunes or elsewhere. In other cases, it really is best to walk away.

Easy Fix: Settled Foundations

Slabjacking shifts a settled foundation back to its original place using grout. This is an inexpensive way to restore a foundation that is no longer level. Costs stat at $500. Slabjacking is recommended in areas where the soil is unlikely to shift. If an engineer feels the home or surrounding soil will experience structural shifts, they will suggest a more permanent - and pricey - repair, such as underpinning. This costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for every pier that lifts the home's foundation. Since this can become one of the pricier ways to repair a foundation, home buyers need to do the math, then decide.

It Depends: Cracked Foundation

Concrete is prone to cracking as it dries, so home buyers may notice cracked foundations on newer homes. As a general rule, cracks that are less than 1/4-inch thick are easy to fix by sealing the foundation.

Horizontal cracks and step cracks (which resemble a staircase) are big red flags. Water can...

Are Residential Solar Panels the Right Choice for You?

Should You Get Solar Panels?Many homeowners are interested in reducing energy costs with the addition of solar panels? There are a number of benefits but for some homeowners, there may be additional concerns to consider. What should homeowners know about residential solar panels before leasing or buying a solar panel system?

Get more information on residential solar panels today.

Solar Panels Work

Costs have come down since the introduction of solar panels, making the technology more affordable for the average homeowner. Advantages of solar energy include the generation of energy sustainably when compared to traditional sources of energy. Installation costs and maintenance of solar panels can be reduced when homeowners choose to buy solar panels and take advantage of federal and state tax credits and incentives. Homeowners can use solar panels in the quest to become more self-sufficient and build in area where there may be no utility grid.

Solar panels can last for up to 30 years and many panels come with warranties. Those who choose to lease a system may have fewer upfront cost and relegate the maintenance to a third party but they do not benefit from many of the available incentives for homeowners. It is not only hot areas like...

Documents Needed for Home Selling

Common Paperwork Types When Selling a HomeSelling a home often calls for a great deal of documentation. Some of this paperwork is generated and managed by a real estate agent, but others may require the seller to collect and maintain. With this list, sellers will know which documentation to watch for while selling their homes.

Selling Paperwork

When people decide to sell a home, they quickly realize that the process of selling can be very complicated. A real estate agent usually handles paperwork related to the actual sale, and includes:

  • listing agreement for the property, which indicates how the agent distributes payment for services
  • marketing plans to attract attention to the home
  • purchase contracts offered by buyers and signed by both parties
  • mandatory disclosures about the condition of the property
  • home buying contingencies placed by the buyer
  • occupancy agreements

Much of this paperwork may need to be completed more than once, if the seller ends up going through the process with more than buyer.

Inspections and Appraisals

In order to sell the home, most lenders require an appraisal to estimate the property's current value. Many home buyers also choose to request a home inspection, to ascertain...

5 Upsides to Downsizing Your Home: How Less Can Be More

Five Upsides to Downsizing Your HomeThe old saying, “Sometimes less is more” can certainly hold true when it comes to the benefits of downsizing the home. While it's many owner's pride and joy for years and years, there often comes a time when the glorious of that spacious home loses its luster. After all, it takes a lot of time and money to run a large dwelling, so many owners are looking into downsizing the home for some of the following benefits.

1. Less Overall Stress Can Promote Greater Health and Happiness

Excessive stress affects the mind and the body, triggering signals that can slow down numerous essential functions that keep individuals healthy. In fact, stress has been linked to several leading causes of death in recent decades, with heart conditions being at the top of the list. It's not a secret that financial stress is a top concern of most individuals, especially those with high mortgages and/or interest rates scraping to the bottom of their bank accounts. Downsizing is likely to reduce one's mortgage, taxes, repair bills, and—in some cases—can even eliminate mortgage debts entirely. With these burdens eased, many homeowners feel rejuvenated, less stressed out, and more satisfied overall.

2. Less Home Equals More Energy Savings

Unless it operates on a solar panel system, one of the downsides to living in a larger abode are greater energy expenses. Electrical expenses for heating and cooling in a smaller home will decrease, especially when using energy efficient appliances...

Eco-Friendly Flooring Options for Green Homes

Environmentally Friendly Flooring OptionsWhen people think of green homes, they usually think of things like solar panels and smart thermostats that adjust themselves automatically. However, a home doesn’t need the latest smart technology to be more environmentally friendly—in fact, even choosing flooring options made with renewable resources can help make a home just that much more green. Here are some different eco-friendly flooring options homeowners can consider for their own green homes, whether they install it themselves or hire a professional.

Bamboo Flooring

A highly versatile wood, Bamboo can be seen everywhere from tableware to decorations for the garden and beyond. However, it’s also an alternative to hardwood floors because of its durability and ease of installation. Unlike trees which take 20 years to reach maturity before they can be cut down, it takes bamboo just three to five years to reach maturity.

Bamboo floors cost around $5-7 per square foot.

Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring

For homeowners who love the look of hardwood floors but are concerned about deforestation, reclaimed hardwood can be a great alternative. Reclaimed wood can come from any number of sources such as old barns and decks that were taken down, and reusing this wood keeps other trees from being cut down.

Reclaimed hardwood floors cost around...

How to Sell a Home with Unpermitted Work

What to Do When Your Home Has Unpermitted WorkWhen it comes to renovating or improving a home, owners are supposed to complete all work within the letter of the law. This means they may need official permits granted by the city in order to add on a new bathroom, break ground on a pool, or install a skylight in the ceiling. Because different neighborhoods have different rulings and homes can frequently change hands, it's not uncommon for homes to have unpermitted work. Learn more about what constitutes unpermitted work, how it affects the buyer's decision, and what sellers can do about it.

The Nature of Permits

No matter how skilled a contractor a homeowner might be, a local official has no way of verifying just how safe their work is. Permits are designed to ensure the stability of the home isn't compromised during a renovation or repair, and the specific rules about which jobs need them and which jobs don't are determined at the local level. In certain cases, owners may be required to hire professionals, regardless of their own expertise when it comes to the work.

The Nature of Homes

Homeowners, in Cherry Grove or elsewhere, may choose to complete renovations without a permit for any number of reason. They may be trying to skirt property taxes or just save money on hiring contractors. Some owners don't know that they need to get permits, and some just flat out ignore...

Common Home Buying Contingencies for Buyers to Be Aware Of

Common Home Buying ContingenciesWhether you are buying a home or you are selling one, one of the things that you need to understand are contingencies. When it comes to buying or selling a piece of real estate, a contingency is a condition that needs to be met before a contract can be considered to be valid or final. A contingency needs to be agreed upon and signed off on by both parties when entering into the real estate contract. As a result, these should not be surprises. However, if you are not familiar with contingencies, finding out what some of the more common ones can help you better prepare for any during your home buying or selling adventure. These are just a few of the more common ones today.

Contingent on the Sale of Another Home

This is a very common contingency for home buyers to make if they are trying to sell their home at the same time, whether it's in an area like Carolina Forest or elsewhere. This is something that is done because they do not want to be left with two mortgages at the same time so they add a contingency to the contract that states that the purchase of their new home will not be considered final until the sale of their current home goes through closing.

Appraisal Contingency

This is usually a contingency that is in place to help protect the buyer of the...

PMI Basics: What Home Buyers Should Know About Putting Down Less Than 20 Percent

PMI Basics for Prospective Homeowners With Low Down PaymentsIt can take considerable time to save enough money to put down 20 percent in order to buy a new home. This leaves buyers looking at mortgage products that may require private mortgage insurance or PMI. Many buyers continue toward homeownership without having a substantial down payment.

It is possible to get into a home but buyers will be paying a lender more money until sufficient equity exists using a conventional mortgage loan. Conventional home loans are often approved for such borrowers with the requirement of a PMI. Borrowers have little choice in rates and lenders when it comes to PMI. Understand more about PMI and a convention home loan today.

Is PMI Necessary?

When a home buyer needs to make a down payment of less than 20 percent, they may be required to pay private mortgage insurance or PMI. PMI is often required when there is less than 20 percent of home equity in a home and an owner needs to refinance a mortgage. Unfortunately for buyers, PMI payments do not help build equity.

Fees vary on PMI. Interest rates on PMI can depend on a borrower's credit score. Tax deductions related to PMI and PMI premium have been known to change. Premiums may be a significant factor in determining interest rates on this loan. Homeowners will make monthly payments but not for the extent of the life of a home mortgage.

How Does...

When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Signs You Should Replace Your RoofThe roof is one of the most important parts of any home. It keeps everything inside safe from all forms of weather and is built to take a beating from the elements. But how do homeowners determine when it’s time to replace their home’s roof? Here are 7 signs that it’s time to think about repairing or replacing the roof.

The Roof is More Than 20 Years Old

On average, a roof lasts about 20–25 years. However, other factors, such as ventilation and the style of roof, also play into how long a roof will last—there is some wiggle room. But from 20 years and beyond, the homeowner should be looking for signs that it’s time to find a replacement.

Shingles are Curled or Misshapen

In order to do their job, shingles should be flat and straight. Curled shingles can be caused by poor ventilation or improper installation, but if the roof is older, it’s likely that it’s just a natural part of the shingles’ lifespan. When curled shingles are seen, it’s time to start looking into a replacement roof or other roof repair.

Cracked Shingles

If the roof’s shingles are cracked, it’s typically a sign of wind damage or cold weather. Just a few cracked shingles can be replaced, but if there’s cracking all over the roof, the homeowner should...

Tips to Prepare for Your First Home Showing

Your First Home Showing: Ways to Get ReadyWhen you're selling your home, your first home showings can be both stressful and exciting. Knowing how to prepare your home and what you can do to make your home more inviting for buyers can help make the experience more productive. By staging, cleaning, making small repairs and reducing clutter, you can attract more buyers and bigger offers. These tips will help.

Reduce Clutter

Clutter is the number one enemy of home sellers, because clutter can make your home appear to be smaller and darker than it really is. Eliminating clutter is the best way to make your house more appealing to buyers. Clutter takes many forms, so there are many things you can do to reduce clutter in your home. Toys on the floor, knick-knacks on the shelves, bills on the counter and excessive clothes in the closet can all be called "clutter." These tips will help:

  • Pick toys up off the floor to make each room look more spacious.
  • Clean closets by reducing the number of items stored on the floor and on the shelves.
  • Clean off all counters, tabletops and shelves.

For many home sellers, clutter reduction can take weeks or even months. In addition to all the sorting and decision-making (what stays? what goes?), the actual act of getting rid of clutter takes time. Garage sales take weeks to organize, donating items requires trips back and forth...

Popular Roofing Types: What Roofing Trends do Buyers Like Most?

Popular Roofing Types for HomeownersChoosing right type of roofing for a home is extremely important. Not only do people want their roof to hold up in a storm but they also want the roof to last for a long time. Replacing a roof is not a necessarily inexpensive project, which is why it is important to choose the right roof type the first time. There are several types of roofing that are more popular than others for a variety of reasons.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are some of the most popular options for roofing types today because of a variety of reasons. They tend to be lower in cost than other options, are easy to find, and they also come in many different colors and style to fit the home design. They come in two different types: organic and fiberglass. The organic shingles are usually made from recycled felt paper and have a layer of asphalt to make them waterproof. Organic shingles are more durable than the fiberglass option but also tend to be more expensive. Fiberglass roof shingles have the same asphalt layer but also have a fiberglass mat on top of the asphalt. There is also usually a ceramic covering of granules to reflect UV rays which can help deflect some heat, although not as much as some of the other roofing options.

Cedar Shake

Cedar shake is a wooden shingle for roofing. They tend to be an option for homeowners who are looking for a durable roofing material that will last...

Hire a professional or DIY: Which is right for you?

Should you DIY or hire a professional?Whether a homeowner should hire a professional or do something on a DIY basis is a fair question, and it is one that some homeowners have trouble answering. They may not be sure if they can handle the project, and they may also not be sure how much it will cost them for someone else to take over and get things done. For any homeowner who is unsure about the DIY vs hiring a professional issue, there are some specific issues to consider. By looking carefully at the most important aspects of a home improvement project, homeowners can make the right decision for their specific situation.

How Much Will This Project Cost?

The price of a particular home improvement project may affect whether a homeowner chooses the DIY route or decides instead to hire a professional. Either way there will be some cost to the project because there will be materials and time spent, but in general it will cost more to hire a professional contractor. However, that does not mean that a contractor should be avoided. In some cases it makes far more sense to hire a professional, so that the job can be done correctly and safely. When that is done, the homeowner has more peace of mind and may sleep better at night, despite the added cost. Homeowners with very little money to spend, though, may be better off doing something on a DIY basis as long as they can update their ...

Landscaping For A Successful Home Sale

How to Landscape to Appeal to Home BuyersGood landscaping makes a good impression on people who see your home from the outside. Good landscaping can make your home look well-maintained and well-loved, which ultimately can make it more attractive to potential buyers. If you're thinking about selling in the next year, these landscaping tips will help you cultivate buyer-friendly landscaping, even in competitive markets like North Myrtle Beach.

Get Started Early

Good landscaping doesn't happen overnight. Growing grass and flowers, de-weeding the lawn, establishing new trees and making similar changes can all take time. If you know that you'll be selling your home sometime later this year, start working on your landscaping months in advance. This gives you time to plant, fertilize and encourage plants to establish roots as needed, so your landscaping will be more mature by the time buyers come to see the property.

Prune

Pruning encourages new, leafy growth and can help make old bushes look new and vital once again. Pruning also helps control plants and trees that might block light into the home, which can help make the inside of the home look lighter and more cheerful. When pruning shrubs and plants, it's important to pick the right time of year. Many plants do best when they're pruned in early spring. Don't forget that shrubs will take time to bounce...

CRG Companies Home Harvest Fall Festival

Family Fun Fall Festival Happening in Myrtle Beach This Weekend

This Saturday, October 21st, join CRG Companies for the Home Harvest Festival! This local construction, design and real estate company of the Myrtle Beach area hosts this annual community festival as a charity event with 2017's donations supporting Heroes For Children of Horry County.

The CRG Home Harvest is FREE to enjoy with a donation and fun for the whole family! Pick up your pumpkin (while supplies last), listen to live music, and vote for your favorite sweet treat from local cheds. Other events and activites include vendors, inflatables, face painting, pumpkin painting, and so much more! 

When: October 21st, 2017

Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark

...

How Do USDA Loans Work?

USDA Loans: What You Need to KnowBuyers looking for the right home in a rural or small suburban area might not know that there is a loan program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help buyers purchase or improve homes. Knowing how USDA loans work and that they may require no down payment could help buyers get a home sooner than they expect. There are a multitude of mortgage options on the market. Is the USDA loan right for you?

What Is a USDA Loan?

The USDA promotes rural development and homeownership by offering different types of loans to buyers who qualify. Many people who want to buy homes find that they cannot save enough for a down payment, or they do not meet other criteria required to get a traditional mortgage. With government funding, the USDA can guarantee loans so that individual lenders are more secure in lending to people who cannot make a large down payment, or who have limited income.

Does the USDA Loan Money to Home Buyers?

Like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the USDA mostly guarantees loans to lenders. This means that a home buyer applies through a local or national lender, and the USDA guarantees the loan in case of a default. In order to qualify for a USDA loan, people must be able to make the monthly payments, and plan to...

Home Buying: How to Manage the Down Payment

How to Handle Saving for a Down PaymentThe largest expense that most home buyers will encounter is the down payment. There are reasons to consider paying more, just as there are advantages to putting down as little as possible. These tips help buyers decide how much to put down towards their home mortgage and how they can get the money for it.

How Much Should I Put Down?

Buyers, especially first-time home buyers, can get overwhelmed by the thought of a down payment. After all, if the median home price nationwide is hovering around $300,000, a down payment of 20 percent is a notable $60,000. Although 20 percent is widely touted as an industry standard, there are plenty of options for prospective home buyers who cannot put that much down. The 20 percent down payment, in a lot of cases, assumes that a buyer already has accrued equity in an existing home that they can use toward the down payment.

Before making a decision about the size of the down payment, future home buyers should estimate how much they can realistically put down, and the opportunity cost of shifting funds from elsewhere. Making a larger down payment is beneficial in that it gives the buyer a larger stake in the home's equity at the beginning and lowers the monthly payment. However, it also ties up funds in the home that would be harder to access to invest...