Buyer Resources

Things to Consider When Buying a Hilton Head Home 

If you’re considering a home in Hilton Head Island you’re in good company. Hilton Head Island is a wonderful place to grow up in, grow old in and even never grow up in.

Following are some things you’ll want to consider when buying a Hilton Head Island home:

Make a Needs and Wish List For Your New Hilton Head Home
What are the things you and your family can’t live without in your new Hilton Head Island home? What would be nice to have? What type of style or age of home do you like? What can you live without in chronological order? Where on the island do you want to live? Do you want to live off-plantation or on? How big do you want your new Hilton Head Island home to be? If that is out of your price range, what are you willing to live in?

If you have children, be sure to invite them to create their own wish lists that can be added to yours. While some of the wishes may be impossible to accommodate, it will make them feel like they are involved in a family decision.

Decide Which Hilton Head Island Neighborhoods Are For You
Your real estate agent can help guide you to the neighborhoods in Hilton Head Island or Bluffton that will be most likely to meet your needs, lifestyle, budget and preferences. They know the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton area very well and can give you sage counsel when it comes to narrowing your list of desired neighborhoods.

Double-Check the Information On the MLS
Work with your real estate agent to see that everything is accurate in the home description, including the square footage of the Hilton Head home, number and size of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the yard, the year built and the taxes.

Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage
There’s no use looking for a home in a certain budget range if you don’t have a pre-approved mortgage. Nothing’s worse than falling in love with a home, making an offer and having it fall through because you couldn’t get the mortgage loan amount needed or come up with the difference out of your own pocket. A pre-approved mortgage as well as your down payment and escrow will help you determine your budget. Be sure you factor in the closing costs when budgeting for a home as well as immediate upgrades/repairs that are needed.  Visit our mortgage section for a list of recommended local lenders.  Until then, check out our Mortgage Calculator

Use Your Realtor As Your Eyes and Ears
Your real estate agent in Hilton Head Island is your eyes and ears during your search for a new home in Hilton Head. Unlike the seller’s agent who works for the seller, you want an agent of your own to represent your interests.

In real estate parlance, this is known as a buyer’s agent. This service is provided by a Realtor and you can hire a buyer’s agent by signing a buyer’s agency agreement. Once you find your home, your buyer’s agent will serve as your agent for the purchase of the home. That’s why you want to find a Realtor that you are comfortable with and who understands your preferences since you will work with them throughout the house hunting and buying process. Once the house closes, the Realtor is paid by the seller, not you.

This means finding someone who is knowledgeable for the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton areas, who can verify all the taxes, fees, square footage, conditions of sale, etc. and help you negotiate the purchase price and terms so they are in your best interest, not the seller’s.


Splitting the Family Between Your Current Hometown and Hilton Head 

Depending on your situation, you may elect to split up your family temporarily, sending one or more members to Hilton Head Island and your new home while others stay at your current home until it is sold. 

If you have children, you may need to think about their schooling first. During the summer, it can be a great adventure to send the kids off with mom to Hilton Head while dad stays behind to get the home sold. It may also work if you have older children still living at home who have the flexibility to move ahead of the rest of the family because they are not in or no longer in school. 

This can, however, put a lot of stress and strain on the family unit. (links to the section on this lower in navigation). Before you make an official decision, you may want to talk to a family counselor or your pastor. They have the training and resources to help you look at every side of the issue and make a decision that is good for your family. 

One of the benefits of sending some of the family ahead is they can help acclimate the rest of the family more quickly when they arrive, since they will already know their way around the Hilton Head home and the surrounding Hilton Head Island and Bluffton areas. Additionally, having one of the home’s owners stay behind can help get the house sold more quickly since they can continue to work with the realtor, expedite the signing of paperwork and keep the house in good order while it is on the market.

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