Myrtle Beach Real Estate Blog

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Understanding 203k Home Loans

All About 203k Renovation Home LoansFinding that perfect home can be a challenge. The ideal location, features and condition often don't seem to exist within the same house. Many people dream of finding an affordable home that needs some work. This means the homeowner can renovate the home to give it more of their own personality while including features they desire.

Fixer-Upper Hang-Ups

Often called fixer-uppers, homes that need extensive work in order to be deemed livable can pose special challenges for those who want to purchase them.

  • One such challenge is often the sheer amount of money that is projected to renovate the property. Coupled with the purchase price, this estimate could make the cost of owning what might otherwise be the perfect home prohibitive.
  • Lenders, too, can present roadblocks that stand in the way of a potential home buyer purchasing a particular house. Lenders are often reluctant to sign off on a loan for a home that might not be suitable for anyone to live in.

FHA 203k Loans Can Provide Options

Like many other loan vehicles, a 203k loan has a specific purpose and is targeted for a particular segment of the home-buying population. Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a 203k loan is designed to assist borrowers in purchasing a home that needs extensive repairs in order to become inhabitable once again. With...

Best Energy Efficient Improvements For Your Home

How to Pick Energy Saving Upgrades For Your HomeImproving the value of one’s home is often toward the top of people’s priority lists, and there are a lot of ways this can be accomplished. Many choose to remodel or landscape, but another often overlooked solution is to utilize energy efficient improvements not only to increase property value but to reduce overall monthly overhead. Another side benefit? Making these changes can have a positive impact on the planet as well.

DIY Upgrades

While some home projects require a professional, there are a few easy energy efficient changes one can make around the home that can yield some nice savings. One of the more common recommendations that nearly everyone can do is to change out light bulbs for models that use less power. Whether the choice is to go with an LED, CFL, or halogen incandescent, many households can save close to $100 per year on their energy bill just by making a simple change.

Homeowners who are a little more project savvy might enjoy utilizing insulation to their advantage, and either replacing old material or putting it in for the first time in a home’s attic can make a big difference. This simple improvement will help to regulate a home’s temperature, and can sometimes save homeowners about $600 per year!

Larger And More Impactful Changes

For those who have construction skills or a larger...

Buying Vs. Renting: Costs to Consider

The Benefits of Buying or Renting a HomeIf the decision involved only weighing basic rent against a mortgage payment, the choice of renting or buying might be simple. However, there are a number of other factors, and some costs that you might not have considered when you commit to either a home loan or a year's lease.

While the decision to rent your first apartment may have been a breeze to make, when it's time to weigh the pros and cons of buying a home or condo, continuing to rent that apartment, or signing a long-term lease, there are a host of other considerations, not all of them financial.

Let's look at the pros and cons of each:

Buying

There are the immediate costs of applying for a loan, but you must also tally up and find funds for earnest money and down payment, closing costs that include appraisal and inspection fees, title and mortgage insurance, homeowner's insurance, taxes, possible transfer fees and moving costs. It all adds up and the total can range between two and four percent of the total home price.

Then there are the recurring costs. When you own a home, you commit to the following monthly payments:

  • Mortgage loan, usually including private mortgage insurance and property taxes;
  • Homeowners insurance; sometimes this amount is included in the loan, or it may be paid separately;
  • Utilities, including electricity and/or gas or oil for heating and air conditioning;...

What to Consider When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Things to Keep in Mind When Selling a Fixer UpperFor some people, a fixer-upper is the ideal home because it allows them to start with something old and turn it into something new that suits their tastes exactly. When looking for a new fixer-upper home, it’s important to know what to look for to avoid buying a home that’s in such poor condition it isn’t even worth renovating, so here are a few things to keep an eye out for when looking at fixer-upper homes.

First: How Much is Too Much?

When considering a fixer-upper, it’s important to take into account how large of a project it’ll be. Not all fixer-upper homes are created equally, and it's important to proceed as you would in any home buying process. Some may just have a couple big jobs that need to be done to make it feel like home, while others may need to be completely gutted and reworked from the inside out. Before committing to a fixer-upper, all buyers should decide just how much work they’re willing to do on a home before beginning their search for one.

Layout

How the home is configured can be one of the most difficult things to change when it comes time to start renovating. An example of bad home layout is having bedrooms directly beside the family room or living room. When looking for a fixer-upper home, finding one with an acceptable layout can save the buyer a lot of money and stress later on...

Branding With a Solid Foundation: Good, Old-Fashioned Customer Service Still Works

How to Brand a Company with Customer ServiceThe modern marketing landscape can look complex. There are more tools than ever before for reaching the prospects who may do business with your brand. However, no matter how many new apps, platforms and networks come out, the fundamentals remain the same. The best marketing for your brand is an excellent customer experience.

Let Your Customers be Your Ambassadors

In your personal life, are you more likely to be drawn to a brand based on an advertisement or the recommendation of a friend? Most of us are more likely to trust the people around us to guide us toward quality products and services. In a recent study, it was found that 92 percent of shoppers trust online reviews.

The reasons behind this is common sense. First, a third party making a recommendation is thought to have no motivation related to the brand. They're a customer; they are relating their own experience and giving recommendations to other consumers. Second, when the recommendation comes from someone who you know, whether they are personally known to you or familiar through social media, the trust you feel toward them transfers to the brand they are recommending.

To harness this power for your brand, you must make the customer experience excellent. Talk to clients to learn where your process can be improved. Do they want a larger selection of products? Shorter wait times? Within reason, do your best...

Buying a Home? Tips to Help You Get Started

Tips to Get Started Buying a HomeThe home-buying process can be a stressful and overwhelming one, rife with paperwork and searches, and filled with days and weeks and sometimes months of searching that eventually—hopefully—cumulate in the purchase of a home. If you're one of the many people thinking about buying a new home, here are some steps to prepare yourself.

Preparing in the months before your home purchase can help increase the chances that you get the property you want, be it in Georgetown or elsewhere. Follow these tips to separate yourself from the competition:

Attend Open Houses

Many people do their real estate research by combing through listings online, but seeing homes in person can make a big difference. Open houses are an important reality check for home buyers. These events also present opportunities for home buyers to meet and ask questions of real estate agents and home sellers. Attend open houses before you even fully begin searching to give your home search focus and direction.

After each open house, take time to drive around each neighborhood looking for eateries and conveniences like grocery stores and gas stations. Doing this kind of research will help you zero in on the neighborhoods where you'd like to focus your attention.

Know Your Priorities

Do you know what...

The Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Home

How To Buy Homes for a First Time Home BuyerThere’s no way around it: Buying a home, whether it’s a first home or a fifteenth, a pre-existing home or a new build, is a process that has many steps. To make that process just a little bit easier, here are the basic steps to buying a home, from budgeting to signing on the dotted line.

Create a Budget

A budget creates guidelines that, if abided by, help buyers find houses that are financially right for them, and it also helps an agent pick out appropriate Garden City Beach homes to show the buyer when the time comes. A well-made budget can help keep buyers from accidentally getting in too deep over their heads. 

Pick a Mortgage and Get Pre-Approved

There are a variety of different types of mortgages to help give people in all financial situations the opportunity to buy a home. After choosing the right one, fill out an application for the mortgage and supply all the necessary paperwork. Getting pre-approved will grant the buyer written proof of the amount of money they have been authorized to borrow.

Make a List of Wants and Needs

Everyone has things they need in their home, whether it’s an attached garage or something to make it more accessible,...

Considering a VA Loan? 4 Things You Need to Know

Facts About VA Loans for Veteran Home Buyers to ConsiderThe 1944 Serviceman's Readjustment Act authorized the Veterans Administration to guarantee loans for eligible veterans to purchase homes, farms, and businesses as soldiers returned home from World War II. The Veterans Housing Benefits Act of 1978 and Veteran Home Loan Program Amendments of 1992 expanded the home loan program to include a wide range of military personnel, whether or not they served on active duty. The program has guaranteed more than 20 million home loans since its inception. If you are considering a VA Loan for your next home purchase, you should know the following:

VA Home Loans Are Only for Veterans and Their Surviving Spouses

The VA Home Loan benefit is available for qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses. Unlike other programs, such as the educational benefits program, the VA Loan program does not consider dependents eligible for benefits. Surviving spouses are eligible unless they remarry. The program is open to all military, military reservists, and National Guard members, each with varying service requirements that apply regardless of the market, be it in Garden City Beach or elsewhere.

VA Home Loans Do Not Require a Down Payment

Perhaps the best feature of the VA Loan Program is that qualifying veterans are not required to have the customary...

A Guide to Different Mortgage Types

A Guide to Basic MortgagesAlmost always, buying a home will mean making a mortgage agreement with a lender who will provide funds to purchase the ideal home. There are several to consider and keep in mind..

Zero down payment mortgages, such as those available through the VA still require payment of origination fees and minimal closing costs. Under some programs, the funds for a down payment can be a gift from parents; other programs roll initial fees into the mortgage. So, even if you're strapped for cash, you may still be able to buy your way into a home. 

A Standard Down Payment Doesn't Exist

While many people consider a 20 percent down payment "standard," there is really little that is standard about it. There is no reason to let that figure scare you. The truth is that even conventional mortgage loans, those that are not guaranteed by the federal government, may have down payment requirements as low as three percent. Distinguishing criteria for most conventional loans include credit score: A higher score, verified income history, conforming debt to income ratios, and documented property appraisal and legal requirements qualify buyers for a lower interest rate;

There is a standing requirement for private mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the loan amount, but that disappears on its own when you reach that threshold; the monthly...

VA Home Loans: Important Facts to Know Before Applying

Understanding the VA Loan ProcessOwning a home is a time-honored dream for most Americans today, and especially so for those who taken the oath to protect and serve their country as a member of the military. For more than seven decades, the Veterans Administration has helped millions of active and retired military members, reservists, and National Guard personnel obtain affordable financing for homes, farms, and businesses.

VA Loan Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the members of the branches of the military mentioned above, surviving spouses of military members who died while on active duty and those who died as a result of a service-related disability are also eligible to apply for a separate type of mortgage loan: the VA loans.

Actual dates of eligibility in relation to service dates can vary. For instance, National Guard members must wait six years to apply, but if called up for active duty, that time span is then shortened to just 181 days. Applicants must also obtain a certificate of eligibility, which will explain their specific dates of eligibility to use the VA loan program.

Benefits of a VA Loan 

The most popular advantage of using a VA loan is that there is no down payment requirement and no mortgage insurance premiums for buyers to pay. These benefits can make it much easier,...

Curb Appeal Basics: A Checklist for Home Sellers

What is Good Curb AppealCurb appeal is a valuable part of staging a home to appeal to buyers, as the front yard is the first thing a buyer sees when they approach a house. A poorly maintained or unappealing front yard can deter buyers by giving them the impression that the home isn't well maintained by the owner and possibly in a state of disrepair. On the other hand, a vibrant, well maintained yard can attract buyers with a clean look that excites them and encourages them to see the rest of the house. Here are a few common trouble areas where curb appeal improvements can be made.

Curb

The curb isn’t the first thing that buyers see, but it is the first aspect of the property they will see up close. Take the time to get it in hand: Repair cracked concrete; make sure that the mailbox is in excellent condition and has no chips, dents, or rust; and confirm that the house number is easy to see from the street, as buyers are less likely to scope out an address they can’t find.

Driveway

Sellers might think that buyers will barely see the driveway, but if it looks bad, it might be the only thing they see. Driveways often show buyers how the current owners treat the home, especially the parts that do not matter as much. A driveway with cracks and stains gives an impression of disrepair to viewers, and it can serve as a deterrent to potential buyers. Even a great listing in Carolina Forest might turn away a buyer if it looks...

How to Sell a Home: A Guide for First Time Home Sellers

Basic Tips for First Time Home SellersWhen going to sell a home, there are a multitude of steps that can boggle and overwhelm even the most adept mind. What if a seller has no idea how to start? Is staging important? What does a real estate agent do? This guide gives sellers the basic details needed to sell a home with preparations to ensure they get the best bang for their buck.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Although there are few instances in life when people really must have a professional to handle a certain situation, sometimes hiring a professional to guide and advise you is worth more than the money paid. In selling a home, hiring a real estate agent is one of them. Without an agent, sellers are alone to negotiate with the buyer, who probably has an agent to help them secure the best deal. A real estate agent is there to get the home ready for sale, make sure that buyers find the home, negotiate a good offer on the seller's behalf and confirm that the home sale is following all relevant laws and guidelines.

What Is Home Staging?

One of the things a real estate agent can help with is the presentation of a home to prospective buyers. The process of getting a home in its best condition, with colors and designs that are most appealing to buyers, is called “home staging.” Sellers do not have to...