What are the best "secret" ways to save money when buying real estate? Here are the top three that most real estate people won't or don't tell you:
When you buy or own a home in South Carolina, it may be eligible for a Safe Home Discount on home owner's insurance. Put in place by a little know SC Law, the 2007 Ominibus Insurance Act, these discounts reward people that own homes that meet certain safety standards and require most insurance companies to pass those savings on to you. How do you know if your home is eligible? You need to get a Wind Mitigation inspection (available for $150 from B Sure Inspections) and then turn in the inspection form to your insurance company. Working with an insurance firm that is well versed in these discounts, such as Allstate Wally Burbage and Associates, can make the process streamlined . If you have owned you home for a time and have had the same insurance, talk to them about the rebates that may be owed to you for over paying since the law's inception, they can be sizable. If you are buying a home, negotiate the cost of the inspection into the contract as seller's closing costs paid for you and be certain that your insurance company is giving you all the discounts that are available to you. Check out webpage for more information on the program.
Save up to 50% on your title insurance by asking for a re-issue credit at closing. Many people do not even know what title insurance is, so if you are puzzled, you are not alone. Title Insurance is a one time charge that you pay at closing and covers the purchase for as long as you own the home. Mortgage companies require that you purchase title insurance on their behalf at closing that will cover the mortgage in case there is a claim. The lender's title insurance does NOT cover your down payment, any appreciation, or the your equity in the home. To protect your interest in the home, you need to add an owner's policy, which is a non expensive one time upgrade to the lender's policy. For a $200,000 home at closing, the title insurance runs approximately $600. The rates are mandated by the state of SC so choosing one title insurance agency over another will not effect your premium. What most people, even real estate agents, do not know is that if the current home owner has owned the home for 7 years or less (or refinanced in the last seven years), you can have the title insurance company use the old title policy information to RE-ISSUE you a new title insurance policy, saving up to 50% at closing! Ask about our participating attorneys!
Worried about a an old air conditioning unit, or if the electric bills will be too high? Then have an energy efficiency inspection done. When buying a home, they can tell you how to improve the efficiency now, as well as after you purchase the home. You may decide to ask the seller to do some for you prior to closing or you may elect to take care of it after you own the home. You can negotiate for the seller to pay for the inspection ($200 from Carolina Green Energy Systems). Currently, there is a huge push for people to improve their home's energy efficiency and so the government, power companies, and some private enterprises are funding grants and rebates to help you retro fit your home. These grants and rebates can go up to $5000 and more and they do NOT have to be paid back. You can have an inspection done by Carolina Green Energy Systems prior to closing (you can negotiate for the seller to pay for the inspection) and they can tell you exactly how much in grants and rebates you will get when they do the work. That way you know what you are getting it for and if the home needs a new air conditioner, this is a fantastic way to get it! Learn more here.
Contact us today for more info about these and other money saving ideas we know about. Check out AgentOwned Realty's One Stop Shop to get even more ideas. Whether you own your home or you are buying a new one, there is never a reason to just throw money away!