The last year has put emphasis on the importance of one’s home. As a result, some renters are making the jump into homeownership while some homeowners are re-evaluating their current house and considering a move to one that better fits their current lifestyle. Understanding how housing affordability works and the main market factors that impact it may help those who are ready to buy a home narrow down the optimal window of time in which to make a purchase.

There are three main factors that go into determining how affordable homes are for buyers:

  1. Mortgage Rates
  2. Mortgage Payments as a Percentage of Income
  3. Home Prices

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) produces a Housing Affordability Index. It takes these three factors into…

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As we enter the middle of 2021, many are wondering if we’ll see big changes in the housing market during the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some experts have to say about key factors that will drive the industry and the economy forward in the months to come.

. . . homes continue to sell quickly in what’s normally the fastest-moving time of the year. This is in contrast with 2020 when homes sold slower in the spring and fastest in September and October. While we expect fall to be competitive, this year’s seasonal pattern is likely to be more normal, with homes selling fastest from roughly now until mid-summer.


National Association of Realtors (NAR):

Sellers who have been hesitant to list homes as part…

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Even though it’s been hot for a few weeks, the official beginning of summer kicks off in a few days with lots of Lowcountry Memorial Day events. What’s your favorite way to mark the occasion? If you can stand the temperatures, outdoor events are a staple around the country as the BBQs and poolside parties move into high gear this weekend.

Looking for ways to celebrate around the Lowcountry community? Locals and visitors alike can enjoy the events we’ve rounded up below. Whether it’s a relaxing picnic in the park, taking in a golf tournament or running in a 5K, you are sure to find a few Lowcountry Memorial Day events to enjoy.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Memorial Day, you can’t go wrong wearing red, white, and blue!

Beaufort Memorial…

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Affiliation expands Charter One Realty’s global reach. 

Hilton Head Island, SC, May 2021 – Charter One Realty was recently awarded affiliate status in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and its luxury marketing division, Luxury Portfolio International®.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) is a global real estate community comprised of 550 real estate companies awarded membership based on rigorous standards for service and performance. With 4,600 offices and 135,000 sales associates in 70 countries, these firms represent 1.1 million global transactions annually.

This distinction ensures that Charter One Realty clients are working with exceptional local professionals who also deliver connections to buyers and quality…

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Sellers in the Market

One of the biggest questions in real estate today is, “When will sellers return to the housing market?” An ongoing shortage of home supply has created a hyper-competitive environment for hopeful buyers, leading to the ultimate sellers’ market. However, as the economy continues to improve and more people get vaccinated, more sellers may finally be in sight.

The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae recently noted the percentage of consumer respondents who say it’s a good time to sell a home increased from 61% to 67%. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, indicates:

"Consumer positivity regarding home-selling conditions nearly matched its all-time high.” (See graph below):


Fannie Mae isn’t…

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Americans and Investment

Last month, in a post on the Liberty Street Economics blog, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that Americans believe buying a home is definitely or probably a better investment than buying stocks. Last week, a Gallup Poll reaffirmed those findings.

In an article on the current real estate market, Gallup reports:

Gallup usually finds that Americans regard real estate as the best long-term investment among several options — seeing it as superior to stocks, gold, savings accounts and bonds. This year, 41% choose real estate as the best investment, up from 35% a year ago, with stocks a distant second.


Here’s the breakdown:

The article goes on to say:

The 41% choosing real estate is the highest selecting any of the…

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Budget for Closing Costs

When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

What Are Closing Costs?

According to Trulia:

When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.


For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing…

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Unless you just completed a brand new build, odds are your space could benefit from one or two affordable home upgrades. The wonderful thing about homeownership is that there really is always some way to improve your quality of life through home improvements.

From simple changes like lighting to bigger things like rearranging your furniture, there are countless ways to keep improving your home without breaking the bank. If you’re in the market to list or are planning to buy, these tips are great for staging or making your new home instantly lovable.

Since Spring is a natural time of year for cleaning, we have several ideas to inspire a whole-home refresh! Many of the affordable home upgrades on this list of inspirations can be done in an afternoon.…

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April was another strong month for home sales across most market segments. The busy spring market continues to see many multiple offer situations driving sales prices above asking price. Strong buyer demand and limited housing supply show no signs of easing soon, pointing to a continuation of this market trend through spring and into summer. 

Hilton Head & Mainland Real Estate Market Update - April 2021

For the 12- month period spanning May 2020 through April 2021, pending sales in the Hilton Head region were up 64.6 percent overall. Market-wide, inventory levels were down 74.0 percent. The property type that lost the least inventory was the single-family segment, where it decreased 73.7 percent. That amounts to 0.9 months supply for single-family…

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Housing Inventory Oasis

Homebuyers are flooding the housing market right now to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Many have a sense of urgency to find a home soon since experts forecast a steady rise in both rates and home prices this year and next. As a result, buyer demand greatly outweighs the current housing supply. Here’s how the shortage of houses for sale sets yours up to be the oasis in an inventory desert.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s housing inventory sits at an incredibly low 2.1-month supply, far below the 6-month mark for a neutral market. Inventory of single-family homes a year ago was already very low, and as you can see in the graph below, this year’s levels are even lower:


Due to these market…

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