Relief for our Hilton Head Neighbors!

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1000_year_rainHilton Head Islanders may be craving some sunshine after 12 days of dark skies and some rain, but we really have nothing to complain about. Our neighbors in Columbia and Charleston will need lots of help in the days, weeks and months ahead. If you would like to volunteer or contribute locally, listed below are ideas and collection points.

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“Know Before You Owe”: How New Rules Could Impact Closings

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house icon on grassIf you’re a home buyer, changes to the closing process are coming in just a few days.

New regulations go into effect on Saturday, October 3rd, providing new loan disclosure forms that are designed to help you better understand the terms of your home mortgage before you close on your new home. That means if you applied for a loan on or after that date, you will receive the easier-to-understand forms.

What You Need to Know About the New Closing Disclosures

To summarize, these new rules combine mortgage loan disclosures from both the Truth-In-Lending Act (which informs consumers about loan terms) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (which deals with closings) into one simplified set of disclosure forms for home buyers who are getting a mortgage.

The official title to these regulations is a mouthful — Truth-In-Lending Act / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule— so the regulations are just referred to as TRID. (The enforcement agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also calls it Know Before You Owe.”)

“Know Before You Owe” is designed to help borrowers clearly understand the costs and terms of their home mortgages. Here are the changes that you can expect from these new regulations, from the number of forms you’ll need to fill out to the time requirements that can alter your closing date.

You’ll Have Two Forms Instead of Four

If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll receive two forms under “Know Before You Owe.” The first, a loan estimate, based on your financial information. You’ll receive the loan estimate 3 business days after applying for your mortgage. The second, a closing disclosure, which outlines all of the costs you will need to pay. You’ll receive that form 3 business days before closing.

These two new forms are more user-friendly, and are replacing four separate forms that home buyers received before — two Truth-In-Lending statements, the loan estimate, and a list of itemized fees.

With these new regulations, you will have time to review the terms of your mortgage well before closing, so you can understand exactly what fees there will be. You can read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s full guide to the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms here.

There is a 3-Day Review Period Before Closing

Under the new “Know Before You Owe” rules, mortgage lenders must send you easier-to-understand information about your loan — the Closing Disclosure form — 3 business days before closing on your home, giving you time to review the terms of your mortgage.

However, some changes to the mortgage terms — like changes to your interest rate or the loan product itself — will mean that you will need another 3-business-day review period, possibly delaying your closing date. If you would like an overview of the details, the CFPB highlights the instances where the 3-day review period would be affected.

We Can Answer Your Questions About “Know Before You Owe”

If you are buying a home and have questions about these new regulations, and what it might mean for closing on your home in the future, contact our real estate experts today and we will be happy to answer your questions in detail.

Did you Purchase Hilton Head Property in 2013, 2014 or 2015?

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Tax_Map_Key_for_Hilton_HeadIf you purchased Hilton Head Property in 2013 or 2014, and the value established by the County exceeds your purchase price, you may have a basis for an appeal.  In and around August of the year after you purchased your property, you most likely received a notice stating the assessed value of your purchase.   Many ignore the notice and miss the ninety day window to appeal. Good News! You still can appeal and if successful you can enjoy savings. Read the rest of this entry

Where to Find the True Value for Your Home

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woman surrounded by question marksEver wondered what your home is worth?

Want to know where to start looking?

Whether you’re just curious or are eager to find a competitive listing price, using the best resources to find your property’s value is crucial.

Today, we’re going to be talking about two types of home evaluation tools: neighborhood sold reports and comparative market analyses.

Comparing Your Home with Your Neighbor’s

A neighborhood sold report is a detailed list of homes that have recently sold in your area. They include information about the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, address, neighborhood, and, of course, the sold price.

Since sales prices are determined in part by your home’s location, as well as a neighborhood’s housing supply and demand, honing in on your own neighborhood real estate market is the best way to determine what the housing market is doing and how it can affect your listing price.

How much did your neighbor receive for his 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house down the street? Is your listing price thousands of dollars more?

If your home is priced too high, you’ll know immediately by looking at the comparisons in the neighborhood sold report. It’s better to learn sooner rather than later, when your home is on the market and you’re feeling frustrated by the lack of home buyer interest. The same goes with pricing your home too low.

Your Home’s Value in Today’s Market

pair of glasses on a white deskA comparative market analysis, often called a CMA, is a fantastic tool to help you determine your home’s value. This report can include anything relevant about the current real estate market in your area, such as:

  • recent neighborhood home sales
  • withdrawn home listing prices
  • unique property features

The important distinction between neighborhood sold reports and comparative market analyses is that the CMAs are more detailed, and can take into account any home improvements or unique property features that buyers would be more interested in (and therefore, would pay more for).

The bottom line: CMAs help you find that sweet, sweet selling price that’s fair to you but still attracts potential home buyers.

Don’t Settle for Estimates

If you’re serious about selling your home, the market value of your property is what you’re after. Don’t settle for estimates based solely on your address or outdated information.

You’ll want to do considerable research on the current state of your local real estate market to help you determine the best listing price for your home. If you need help along the way, our real estate experts are always happy to offer assistance.

Sell Your Property with Our Real Estate Experts

We offer both a neighborhood sold report and a comparative market analysis, and we can work with you to determine the best price for your property. And if you’re eager to get the results you’re looking for in your home sale, list your property with our dedicated real estate team.

Contact us today to get started!

Top 3 Reasons to Get Pre-Approved for a Hilton Head Mortgage

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Hilton Head Proeprties R and RBefore you start your Hilton Head property search, you want to know how much you can afford, right?  There are two ways to do this: with a mortgage pre-qualification and a mortgage pre-approval. As a Hilton Head buyer, the pre-approval is more valuable to you during your property search.  Here’s why.

How Pre-Approvals Help Hilton Head Buyers

One of the main differences between mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval is how the lender gives you the mortgage amount.

calculator and finance sheetFor pre-qualification, you give the mortgage lender your general financial history (including debts and income), and the lender gives you a mortgage estimate. For pre-approval, the lender digs deep into your credit report and gives you the exact loan amount.

If you’re choosing between getting pre-qualified for a home mortgage and getting pre-approved, choose to get pre-approved. Here are the top three reasons why:

3. Shop for Hilton Head Real Estate with a check in your pocket!

There are no estimates in a pre-approval. The lender has looked into your credit history and you’ve given the required documentation to go through with the pre-approval process.  A mortgage pre-approval is not a commitment to the loan, but it paves the way to transition into applying for a specific property — your dream home in your price range.

2.  You Can Narrow Your Hilton Head Property Search

person searching online on laptopSearching through online listings can be tedious.  How do you narrow down your Hilton Head Property search and eliminate properties that don’t work?

When you’re pre-approved, you’ll know exactly what you can afford, and you can tailor your property search around the mortgage amount. Now you can easily search through the listings with confidence and knowledge on what you can afford.

1. Hilton Head Sellers Will Take Your Offer Seriously

Hilton Head sellers like to see that you’re pre-approved — it tells them that you’re serious about buying their property.  In fact, when you’re competing with other buyers to make the best offer on your dream property, being pre-approved will give you the competitive edge over buyers who are not.

We’re Your Hilton Head Real Estate Experts

If you want more information about the mortgage pre-approval process or about finding the perfect property that fits your lifestyle, contact us today and we can get started. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the mortgage pre-approval process in the Hilton Head Area.

The post Top 3 Reasons to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage appeared first on Dakno Blog.

Escape this fall to Hilton Head Island!

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Fall_getaway_Hilton_Head_IslandIf you are looking for the perfect getaway, escape to Hilton Head Island this fall!  Near perfect temperatures, clear skies, fun fall festivals, unbelievable sunsets, a more relaxed pace and very little rain make fall visits truly wonderful.  It really is a beautiful time of the year. We invite you to experience fall on Hilton Head Island and stay in one of our big beautiful homes or amazing villas!

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2015 Hilton Head Fall Festivals

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Fall on Hilton Head IslandFall is one of the best times to visit the Hilton Head area.  The weather in the Hilton Head area is cooler, the pace is slower and there are many great places and fall festivals to enjoy.  If you have not yet, planned your fall accomodations, please click here and contact Darcey Sundling to help plan your Fall Getaway!  Listed below are some great Fall Festivals to Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

6 Simple Home Decorating Ideas for Fall

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orange leaves in the fallSeptember is quickly approaching! That means it’s time to bring out the jackets, long-sleeve shirts, and denim jeans.

But what are you doing to bring your home into fall?

Here are a few easy decorating ideas you can do to welcome the cooler temperatures and beautiful colors into your home.

DIY Home Decorating Tips for Fall

You don’t have to paint your walls or buy new furniture to get your home ready for fall.

Instead, you can use some simple seasonal tricks to welcome autumn leaves and pumpkin spices into your home, and impress your visitors in the process.

1. Bring Out the Cinnamon- and Pumpkin-Scented Candles

The smell of those warm spices gently wafting throughout your home is enough to energize you for the season.

Light a few candles in your kitchen or living room, as well as other rooms that receive the most traffic in your home. Your home will be looking — and smelling — festive in no time.

2. Stick a Seasonal Flag Outside

Personalize your front yard by placing a welcoming fall flag by the mailbox, in your front garden, or hanging from your front porch. Let people know that you’re ready for autumn!

3. Swap Out Your Dining Table Centerpiece

Put the colorful summer tones away for next year and bring out your festive fall accents.

roses and flowers in table centerpieceMake a seasonal statement with the centerpiece on your dining room or kitchen table. Some simple autumn centerpiece ideas include:

  • red, orange, and yellow pillar candles
  • roses or colorful leaves in a vase
  • small pumpkins
  • old-fashioned lanterns
  • a bowl of apples

4. Hang a Festive Wreath on Your Front Door

Add some fall foliage, colorful ribbon, or burlap accents to an autumn wreath and catch the eye of your friends and neighbors.

People tend to notice your home’s decorations when they first spy your house, which is why front door accents are often included in tips for increasing curb appeal. Display your fall home readiness with a red, gold, and brown wreath on your door!

5. Decorate Your Shelves with Pine Cones and Oak Leaves

If you have a mantle above your fireplace or an empty space on a bookshelf, fill it with simple arrangements of fall foliage — pine cones, oak leaves, acorns, and pumpkins.

To truly make a statement with your decor, pair vibrantly colored leaves with a white or neutral color base, and enjoy the display capture the attention of passersby.

white fence outside house in autumn6. Put a Pumpkin on Your Front Porch

Nothing says fall as much as a round pumpkin sitting on your porch steps.

When pumpkins come in season, you can purchase one for Halloween fun or simply as a seasonal accent.

Staging Your Home for Sale This Fall?

These DIY home decorating tips work well to increase your curb appeal if you’re selling your property this season.

If you have any questions about home staging tips or about selling your home, contact us at any time. We would be happy to provide you with the answers you need.

The post 6 Simple Home Decorating Ideas for Fall appeared first on Dakno Blog.

HGTV’s Beach Front Bargain Hunt on Daufuskie Island

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If you love HGTV’s Beach Front Bargain Hunt and the Hilton Head Area check out the YouTube above.   The show includes a couple searching for the perfect home for their growing family.  The weather was fabulous and you will love following this couple as they explore Daufuskie Island.  This show will certainly introduce Daufuskie Island nationally to people that may have never heard of it before.   Tune in and watch as we hunt for a house big enough for their large family.


Hilton Head Buyers Beware of Values on the Internet

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DroneBuyers need to beware when  using Automated Valuation Models (AVM’s) to determine property values.  AVM’s are values based on averages and found on websites including  Zillow, Trulia and Homesnap .  The problem with using AVM’s is that they do not account for unique property features.  There is, however, a way to improve these AVM’s.

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Copyright © 2015 Hilton Head Real Estate. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.
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