Buying a home in Charleston, SC?


Welcome to your interactive journey through the helpful and knowledgeable world of Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Its a place where experience and expertise intersect with your real estate goals and dreams. Experience the Gold Standard along every step of your personal path home. Whether you're a first time buyer or a seasoned veteran, its comforting to know that CENTURY 21 Properties Plus has been helping home buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams for over 35 years. And as soon as you are ready to get started with purchasing your new home. Just click the link below..


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CENTURY 21 Properties Plus' Buyer Resources

Find anything you need to purchase your new place, right here...

Becoming a homeowner.

  • 10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership

    1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

    2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.

    3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

    4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

    5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.

    6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of a mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.

    7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

    8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your first home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

    9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

    10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.

  • Why Choose a CENTURY 21 Properties Plus agent?

    As an independently owned and operated CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC ® office, we are dedicated to providing you with service that is professional, courteous and responsive in helping you find a property. To fulfill this commitment, we agree to provide you with the following services:

    1. Respect you, your needs and communicate in an honest and forthright manner.

    2. Make the process of buying your next home as easy and as successful as possible.

    3. Value and respect your time, being as efficient and effective as possible.

    4. Understand your needs and respond quickly.

    5. Use the full breadth of our collective experience, knowledge, tools and the most up-to-date training to best serve you.

    6. Consult with you to determine your particular real estate wants and needs. This includes providing information as to the advantages and disadvantages of the choices available to you, in order to help you make informed decisions.

    7. Maintain your confidentiality and represent your best interests throughout your buying process.

    8. Provide you with the resources you need to help you determine your financial ability to purchase, explain alternative financing methods, and assist in arranging mortgage financing.

    9. Provide a Customized Home Search Plan for locating the right property for you, at the right price and terms, in an acceptable time frame.

    10. Use available methods to locate the property that will best meet your goals and your needs. This may include properties listed with our office, the Multiple Listing Service, real estate websites, or listings offered through other real estate companies.

    11. Utilize the vast and powerful resources of the CENTURY 21 System to get you the results you deserve, including leveraging our network of more than 7,000 offices worldwide.

    12. Provide the resources of century21.com, which makes thousands of listings available for you to easily review homes that are right for you.

    13. Show properties that meet your specifications, in accordance with Fair Housing Regulations and ethical real estate practices.

    14. Comply with all legal obligations to disclose material facts known about the property that is likely to affect your ability to obtain the right price and terms.

    15. Use our knowledge and expertise to promote the most valuable purchase on your behalf. Assist you in evaluating the market value of properties that are of interest to you, and suggest negotiating strategies to help you obtain the most advantageous price and terms.

    16. As your champion, advise and assist you in completing your purchase agreement, and present your offer in a light most favorable to you.

    17. Introduce you to other professionals (mortgage lenders, title agents, etc.) for information or assistance as appropriate.

    18. Upon acceptance of an offer between you and the seller, monitor all pre-settlement (escrow) activities throughout the closing process as permitted by law or local practice.

    19. Consult and communicate with you on a regular basis throughout your entire real estate purchase process.

    20. Recommend a home warranty to protect you and the appliances in the home.

  • Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

    Is it close to your favorite spots? Make a list of the activities — movies, health club, church, etc. — you engage in regularly and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to engage in your most common activities.

    Check out the school district. This is especially important if you have children, but it also can affect resale value. The Department of Education in your town can probably provide information on test scores, class size, percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, visit schools in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Also, check out www.schoolmatters.com.

    Find out if the neighborhood is safe. Ask the police department for neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type — such as burglaries or armed robberies — and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the neighborhood, such as near a retail area?

    Determine if the neighborhood is economically stable. Check with your local city economic development office to see if income and property values in the neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the percentage of homes to apartments? Apartments don’t necessarily diminish value, but do mean a more transient population. Do you see vacant businesses or homes that have been for sale for months?

    See if you’ll make money. Ask a local REALTOR® or call the local REALTOR® association to get information about price appreciation in the neighborhood. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how good of an investment your home will be. A REALTOR® or the government planning agency also may be able to tell you about planned developments or other changes in the neighborhood — like a new school or highway — that might affect value.

    Make personal observations. Once you’ve narrowed your focus to two or three neighborhoods, go there and walk around. Are homes tidy and well maintained? Are streets quiet? How does it feel? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with people working or playing outside.

Financial Resources

  • Find a down payment.

    Unless you're independently wealthy or have just won the lottery, you will need to get financing. Other than VA loans, which are only available to veterans, you'll need to know how much of a down payment will be required to purchase your new home. Very few programs currently let buyers purchase without putting anything down. The two most popular types of mortgages are FHA loans and conventional loans, which require minimum down payments ranging from 3.5% to 10% of the sales price. Talk to your agent about suggested mortgage professionals and find out what you can expect when you purchase.

  • Obtaining a minimum FICO score.

    The two magical numbers are 620 for FHA and 720 for conventional loans with mortgage insurance. If your FICO score falls below that number, you may not qualify for those mortgages. For conventional loans without mortgage insurance, your FICO can dip as low as 620, but the interest rate increases. To find out your FICO score, you should ask your lender to run your credit report or obtain a FICO score online. You will receive scores from 3 credit reporting agencies and take the middle FICO score to compare.

  • Meeting Lender Ratios

    Most lenders expect a buyer to have a maximum 33% front-end ratio. This means your mortgage payment, plus taxes and insurance (PITI), cannot exceed 33% of your monthly gross income. For example, if you earn $5,000 a month, the maximum payment for which you may qualify is $1,650. The back-end ratio is trickier. This involves adding together your payment with all monthly revolving debt payments. That percentage of your gross monthly income should fall between 41% and 50%, depending on the type of loan and lender. With mortgage insurance, your highest back-end ratio cannot exceed 41%, which means to qualify for a higher back-end ratio, you may need to put down at least 20%.

  • Receiving an appraisal at value.

    The Home Valuation Code of Conduct, HVCC, became effective May 1, 2009, and applies to all conventional transactions. Since January 1, 2010, it now applies to FHA transactions as well. It's a well meaning process that is flawed. In the past, a lender could select its own appraiser. That appraiser was generally experienced, knew the neighborhood and had appraised many homes in specific areas, which typically would result in a fair and balanced appraisal. Now, appraisal management companies pluck an appraiser at random from a pool of appraisers. Your appraiser could be from another area or unfamiliar with the neighborhood, which often results in a low appraisal. If the appraisal does not come in at value, and if the seller refuses to adjust the price, buyers with an appraisal contingency can either walk away from the transaction or pay the difference in cash.

  • Satisfying loan conditions.

    Underwriting can be frightening. An underwriter reviews the file and can make demands. These demands can include more documentation, a review appraisal and, even then, the underwriter could reject the loan for a variety of reasons. If you have remarried, for example, and your former spouse had owned a home that went through foreclosure or a short sale, if your name was still on the mortgage, you could be disqualified from buying a home with your new spouse. The way to increase the odds of underwriting approval is to disclose everything about yourself and your financials to your lender, and make sure the loan officer has been in the business long enough to foresee future problems before you get that far.

Our Services

Seller Resources

An experienced CENTURY 21 Properties Plus agent will determine the value of your home, where to price it to get it sold and handle everything from contract to closing.

Buyer Resources

An experienced CENTURY 21 Properties Plus agent can help you to find the right home, determine how much home you can afford and handle the contract for you.

Rental Resources

Whether you are currently renting or you are looking to have your rental properties managed. Our Property Management services handle everything!

Find An Agent

Looking for a Real Estate agent? We have the best of the best in the Lowcountry. Our agents service all areas of the Charleston, SC area and are ready to assist you.

Relocating to Lowcountry?

Whether you just received orders to move to Charleston, SC or you are considering moving closer to your family, we can help!

Our Community

We strive to make a difference in our community, by supporting local business, events and the people of the Lowcountry and invite you to join us.

  • "I never founded a company to be the biggest organization in town. I simply wanted to provide residents with a higher caliber of real estate company!" -Tim Rash, Owner

  • "CENTURY 21 Properties Plus provides all the tools and systems that I need to be productive and to provide great service to my clients. Want to be successful in the market? Ask me how!"- Ron Henderson, REALTOR

  • "I strive to offer nothing but the very best for my buyers and sellers and CENTURY 21 Properties Plus enables me to do just that! Offering me a great business model which has proven to provide more success to myself and my clients!" - Kimberly Lease, REALTOR