Myrtle Beach Real Estate Blog

Is an FHA or Conventional Loan Your Best Financing Option?

FHA Home BuyerFor buyers with sufficient savings or enough other financial resources to pay cash for a home, questions regarding financing may never arise. For everyone else, however, the need or desire to purchase a home comes in lockstep with the ability to find the right financing and successfully navigate the application process.

In America today, the two most commonly used home loan options are the fixed-rate conventional loan offered through banks and traditional lending sources, and the FHA loan, backed by the federal government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). 

Understanding the FHA Loan

FHA home loans are available through FHA-approved mortgage lenders on both single and multi-family homes throughout the United States. Because these loans are insured through the Federal Housing Administration, both buyers and the home being purchased must meet certain guidelines for eligibility.

For a home to successfully qualify for an FHA mortgage, it must be in good condition and capable of passing a required FHA appraisal, as part of the underwriting process. FHA appraisals include thorough examinations of both the structure and basic systems of the home, in addition to the grade of the lot where the home is situated to ensure that drainage is adequate to protect the home. In addition, homes must meet safety standards...

6 Staging Hacks for Small Houses

These days, a lot of buyers want a fairly open floor plan with lots of space. If you have an older home or a house with a lot of enclosed rooms, you may have to fight convention if you want to bring the offers in. These tips help you to show off the space you have and create a comfortable flow for your home, even if you don't have a house with a lot of space or an open floor plan.

Choose One Purpose

Home buyers often expect the home to fulfill a variety of purposes, such as eating, sleeping, entertaining, work and education. If you have many small rooms in the home, trying to cram too many activities into a single space is the last thing you want to do. For staging, the smaller the room, the simpler you must keep the activities. A spare bedroom could be converted into a playroom or entertainment room, instead of letting video game equipment and toys clutter kids’ bedrooms or the living room. An enclosed dining room should be devoted only to that purpose.

Eliminate Visual Clutter in Design

Busyness is the enemy of the small room. Even if all the basic clutter is cleared away and you are left with an open floor and mostly-empty shelving, the room may still look too busy. Fun houses at carnivals are designed with contrasting patterns to trick the eye and make it hard for people to navigate. You do not want any room in your home to create such confusion. Instead, select designs...

Custom Build vs. Existing Home Buying

Constructing a HomeY ou’re looking for a new home - something with more space and which reflects more of your personality. Do you search the market for something appropriate, or do you build a home to your exact specifications?

Benefits of a Custom Build

The benefit of a custom build is specificity. Existing homes will typically only meet your expectations in broad strokes. In existing homes, you can determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you'll look for, but you can't shape those spaces. The appliances won't usually have every feature desired as well.

With a custom build, however, you get exactly what you want (finances permitting), right down to paint color, knob pulls and wood trim. Every appliance will be chosen by you. Spaces are configured to best benefit your lifestyle and belongings.

Moreover, everything is new. Used appliances are missing the latest and greatest features , and if those appliances are only a few years old, it'll be many years before you have the opportunity to upgrade. A custom build means the opportunity to invest in current technologies. Buying new will also save you repair and replacement costs for many years.

There are also aesthetic benefits. Even well-kept homes can look lived-in with matted down carpeting, scuffs along...

What Does a Home Warranty Entail?

Protecting New Home AppliancesUpfront costs pile up quick when you're buying a home, and you may be tempted to skip a few things seen as superfluous. You may be wondering, however, if a home warranty is something you will need.

Home Warranties Cover a Range of Expensive Items

Replacing and repairing major appliances and systems is expensive. Home warranties take the sting out of such unexpected costs. Commonly covered items include:

  • Major kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and stoves
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating systems
  • Water heater
  • Washers and dryers
  • Plumbing systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Roof

Coverage varies from policy to policy, so be sure you understand exactly what your potential policy covers.

Home Warranties Cover What Home Insurance Does Not

A common mistake is thinking warranties and insurance overlap. They do not. While they might cover the same items, they cover very different types of damage. Insurance covers damage due to an acute, specific event such as a natural disaster or home invasion. It does not cover normal wear and tear, and that's where a warranty comes in. Warranties pay out when something simply breaks because it is old.

You have no control over how old and...