Purchasing residential property in South Carolina is an exciting but overwhelming time for people. Getting the right kind of legal advice is important to make sure mistakes are not made that can delay or hinder the process.
At Hopkins Law Firm, our real estate lawyers in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island will help you navigate this important purchase in your life. Contact us at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a Consultation today.
Buying Residential Real Estate in South Carolina
Your home is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make and it is important to educate yourself on the process so you know what to expect. The following are some of the highlights of the home buying process. Remember, however, that the exact process may differ in the area where you are purchasing a home, and that is why you should speak to a real estate attorney in South Carolina to make sure you follow the process accordingly.
Team Up with a Real Estate Lawyer
One of the first decisions you need to make is whether you need or want the assistance of a real estate lawyer. A lawyer will ensure your rights are upheld and your obligations are met. The former ensures you get the best deal when making one of the largest investments of your life, while the latter ensures you do not suffer delays due to legal or formality issues.
Making sure your real estate transaction is legally sound is critical, and a real estate lawyer has the skills to do so. Some states may require a real estate lawyer, while others recommend it.
Team Up with a Real Estate Agent
An agent can help guide you through the buying process, from determining your budget to finding your home and placing an offer, to closing on the purchase of your house. If you are familiar with the area you are buying in and have bought homes before, you may not need their assistance. If you are new to the area or new to purchasing a home, you may want the help of an agent.
Having an agent should not cost you anything out of pocket. The seller pays agents out of the proceeds from the sale of the house.
Find Your New Home
This is the fun part – looking for your new home! Attend open houses and schedule walkthroughs. Be sure to stay within your budget, so you do not get your hopes up on a house, only to have them slashed in the end.
Make An Offer
Once you have chosen the home you wish to purchase, it is time to make an offer. If you have a real estate lawyer, they will help guide you through this process. An attorney can also help you anticipate whether other people will likely bid against your offer given the current market. If so, you may want to increase your offer, if your budget allows it.
Financing, Appraisals, and Inspections
If you can pay cash for your new home, you do not have to worry about obtaining any type of financing. If you are obtaining financing, there are different sources from which you can do so. If you do not know where to begin, ask other people whom you know and trust. If you have a good relationship with your banker, that is always a good place to start.
Whether you obtain financing, you need to have the home and property inspected and appraised. This process should uncover any problems. If they exist, the lender will be informed, and you will have the opportunity to have the issues timely addressed. Keep in mind, anything that arises from the inspection could impact the value of the property.
Attend the Closing
Closing will be scheduled for you to close on your new home, and you will be told what to bring. In some states, an attorney is required to conduct the closing. Once the paperwork has been executed, you will get the keys and can move in.
Factors to Consider before Purchasing a New Home
There are certain factors to consider before purchasing a new home. The following are a few to consider.
- Your Budget. What can you comfortably afford? If you will be taking out a mortgage to buy the property, what is the monthly payment amount you can pay, and how much is the lender willing to loan you?
- Your Desired Location. You should decide where you want to live and be specific about it. Do you want to be close to work? Or maybe it is important to live close to recreational places of interest?
- Local Schools. Even if you do not plan on having children, it is still important to move into a good school district in case you decide to sell the home one day. A home in a good school district typically sells more quickly and for more money than one in an unpopular district.
- Other Factors. Many other factors to consider include things like your commute time, noise levels, and HOA costs and fees.
A real estate lawyer will address specific factors related to your unique home-buying experience in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island.
Seller Disclosure Requirements in South Carolina
Sellers are required to disclose certain matters when they sell their homes. Although this varies widely by jurisdiction, some of the most common disclosures include:
- Neighborhood nuisances, such as a shooting range nearby
- Any known structural defects or hazards
- Environmental hazards
Failure to disclose the required information can result in lawsuits or fines against the seller. That said, keep in mind certain sellers may not be required to disclose information. For example, in some states, if the party selling a house inherited it but never lived in it, they will not be expected to complete a disclosure statement.
How a Residential Real Estate Lawyer in South Carolina Can Benefit Your New Home Purchase
There are many reasons to hire a real estate lawyer when you are in the market to purchase a new home or residential property.
- Loyalty. Remember that for most people, purchasing a home is one of the largest investments they will make in a lifetime, so getting it right matters. There are many potential parties in a real estate transaction, from the seller, the lender, the real estate agent or broker, the title company, and more. Most have their own interests in mind but one: your real estate lawyer. Your lawyer will be loyal to you, your needs, and your wants.
- Title Search. Simply because you end up with keys to a new home does not mean you own it. A title search must be conducted, and it must be thorough. There may be other interested parties who can take the home if issues are not dealt with before closing. A lawyer will conduct a thorough search to uncover any hidden title issues, saving you time and money.
- Documents. Your lawyer can draft, review, and negotiate documents on your behalf. This benefit is critical because you may not understand exactly what a document's terms and conditions are or mean. A lawyer can explain these things to you in a manner you understand so that you are informed. When you are informed, you can make better decisions for yourself.
- Suggestions. A lawyer who has been in the real estate industry for a while knows a few things that may benefit you. The lawyer can suggest when a new survey should be made of a property, how to save on insurance, and other tips you may not have known.
Always keep in mind that not all attorneys have the same experience and the same way of conducting their practice. Meeting the real estate attorney first will help you understand if they meet your requirements and needs.
Contact a Residential Real Estate Attorney in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island Today
If you are looking to purchase residential real estate in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island, it is a good idea to get smart legal advice. Contact Hopkins Law Firm today by filling out our online form or calling us at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a Consultation. Our real estate lawyer will walk you through the entire home purchasing process.