Last Updated on June 9, 2017 by Taylor Welshe
People living in South Carolina enjoy an extremely amicable weather almost every day of the year. Add to this the state’s great outdoors ranging from rivers to beaches to parks that allow for a myriad of entertainment options, and it’s easy to see why many of its residents want to permanently stay here. The strong tourism, agriculture, and textiles industries contributing to good employment rate also attract many home buyers to make investments not only in Charleston, Rock Hill, and Greenville, but in many other of the state’s pretty cities. (Source: Livability.com
Lower than national average cost of living
In The Palmetto State, consumers enjoy a cost of living ratio lower than the national average. This is primarily due to the more affordable price of housing. (Source: Sperling’s Best Places)
The median of all home values in the United States combined amount to $195,300. In S. C. alone, an average house fetches a value of $144,000. This means that real estate here is less expensive. (Source: Zillow)
Home ownership rating
67.1% of all residential dwellings in the state are owned and occupied. This indicates that consumers here have a higher chance of becoming a home owner compared with people in other high-living-cost states, such as Hawaii or California.
Availability of housing loans
Similar to many other parts of the country, majority of home buyers in this state have to depend on a mortgage to finance their purchase. Their two main choices are the fixed-rate and the variable-rate (also known as adjustable-rate) mortgage. There are various situations wherein the former makes more financial sense, while there are others wherein the latter makes for a better choice.
For consumers who want the ability to easily predict their monthly expenditures, a fixed-rate mortgage offers the best solution. These loans have an unchanging or locked-in interest rate, so the monthly payments won’t change, regardless of market performance. It’s also a good option for those who intend to stay in the same house for a long period of time, or for those who want to make lower monthly payments.
Home buyers whose priorities are to secure the lowest possible interest rate in the first few years of their loan may find an adjustable-rate mortgage a better option. These housing loans have an initially lower interest rate than the fixed-rate ones. However, the upfront rate only lasts for a certain period of time, usually within the first one to five years of the loan.
Credit score: A factor determining mortgage qualification
There are many factors lenders use to determine the qualification of borrowers, one of which is credit score. Regardless of how big a mortgage applicant’s income is, or how many his/her assets are, having a poor FICO score can lead to rejection. And even if the lending institution approves the application, the borrower can expect a higher interest rate.
This is why experts recommend consumers who have a poor credit score rating to first do what they can to improve it. This way, they can up their chances of securing a mortgage with a rate they can afford more easily.
Lowering the interest rate
For home owners having a hard time keeping up with their payments, help is available from various organizations, such as the South Carolina Housing Finance Authority and the USDA Rural Development. However, they should also explore the world of refinancing.
One of the primary reasons to refinance an existing loan is to have a lower interest rate. If they can make it 1% lower, they should consider doing so. And while it might seem small, this rate reduction can actually make a huge difference in trimming one’s loan-related expenditures. Because it will help in lowering monthly payments, borrowers can shorten the amount of time they are in debt, while also hastening the equity accumulation of their house.
South Carolina Housing Finance Authority
USDA Rural Development
Home Affordable Refinance Program