Historic neighborhoods, beautiful beaches, a variety of incredible restaurants. There is a reason Charleston South Carolina has consistently been named a top vacation destination, and ranked high for places to relocate permanently. But when is considered the best time to buy a house in Charleston? This post details the best time to buy a house in Charleston based on a variety of factors. We’re also outlining some tips from expert agents to help you find a home in this competitive South Carolina housing market.
Purchasing a home is a big decision, and it’s important to understand the local market you’re looking in. Working with a local real estate agent who is well versed in what makes each Charleston-area neighborhood unique can make your journey to home ownership much less stressful.
The Best Time to Buy a House in Charleston
There are a few different ways to define the “best” time to buy a house in Charleston. Some buyers see the best time to buy a home’s list price is most affordable. While others consider the best time to buy to be when there are the most listings to choose from. Either way, mortgage rates have consistently remained at their lowest point in years. Thus, making now an attractive time to buy a home. This, coupled with the low property taxes in Charleston county make the area highly durable for home buyers.
In a sellers real estate market, the number of buyers looking for homes outnumbers the number of listings available. As a result, prices are usually driven up since sellers have the upper hand in the market. While in a buyers market, the months of supply in the market increases. With that, the number of listings available also outnumbers the number of buyers looking for homes. Thus, sellers are typically more flexible with their listing price.
Ultimately, fewer buyers means less competition for available listings. This has not been the case in 2021 as the Charleston market has been very competitive. However, winter typically sees fewer buyers looking for homes. This results in a more favorable list price to the serious buyers still in the market. In keeping with this trend, February list prices were 5.4% lower than the average list price. In return making February the best time to buy a house in Charleston in terms of list price.
Homeowners selling throughout the colder months may have a specific reason or timeline for selling since they are choosing a traditionally less competitive month to list. This is favorable for buyers as these sellers could be highly motivated to sell quickly.
So, if you have the freedom to be flexible in your timeline to purchase a home, or are open to a move while school is in session, February is the best time to buy a house in Charleston for the lowest price.
Available Housing Inventory
The Charleston housing market saw an increase in available listings beginning in March and peaking in July 2021. Overall, July had 20% more homes to choose from compared to the rest of 2021. Thus, making this the best time to buy a home in Charleston based on available inventory.
It’s common for seasonal weather to have an effect on the housing market. For example, midwest and northern locations typically see a large drop in available listings in winter. This is because people typically don’t want to move during colder weather. With that, many homeowners or prospective buyers with kids choose not to move during the school year. While South Carolina doesn’t see winter weather quite as drastic as other parts of the country, available listings still tend to decrease in fall and winter months.
South Carolina is experiencing a strong seller’s market, thus inventory is lower than usual throughout the year. As a result, homes are spending very little time on the market once listed, and median listing price has increased month over month throughout 2021. For example, home owners who purchased their house in March of 2021, already have an average of $34,000 in equity simply because home values continue to rise.
Ultimately, some might say that the best time to buy a house in South Carolina was last week, simply because of the increase in home values we’ve consistently seen this year. But, working with an expert agent can make navigating a competitive market easier, as your agent should be in tune with local trends, coming soon listings and have knowledge of inventory at reasonable prices.
Best Time to Buy a House in Charleston: Getting Started
Find an expert agent
Having a buyer’s agent to educate you and advocate for you during the home buying process is essential in helping you compete in a hot market like Charleston. A top real estate agent should communicate thoroughly and concisely with you. Your agent can help you better understand which homes and neighborhoods will meet your needs. Ultimately, the right agent should use their network and skills to find the right property for you, within your budget. Trelora is a modern real estate brokerage that has an entire team of experts dedicated to your transaction. Buyers get top notch customer service, and Trelora agents even split their commission when you purchase a home, giving buyers up to $6,000 in cash.
Get pre approved
Getting pre approved starts with defining your goals, and narrowing down your list of priorities in a new home. Home prices in Charleston can vary based on your location or the style of home you want. When you’ve determined the best time for you to buy a house, the best place to start is getting pre approved by a lender. This process sounds daunting, but ultimately you just need these five things:
- Proof of assets
- Proof of income
- Good credit: Most lenders require a score of 620 or higher
- Employment verification
- Other documentation: Such as a driver’s license and social security number
Offers and Negotiation
After you’ve toured a home and decided you want to make an offer your realtor will write a formal offer for the seller to consider. You might choose to waive certain contingencies, or be flexible with your closing timeline if you are buying a home in a sellers market. Your agent can offer advice on which contingencies fit your current needs and comfort level.
The Best Time to Buy a House in Charleston: The bottom line
February has been shown to be the best time to buy a house in Charleston based on sales price. While July offers the most inventory to choose from. But ultimately, the best time to buy a house in Charleston is different for every buyer, based on your priorities and timeline.
It’s easy to see why Charleston is such a popular area for relocation. Despite the market being highly competitive, now is a great time to purchase a Charleston home. As home values continue to increase, purchasing a home offers a great opportunity to build equity in your investment.
We recommend working with an expert real estate agent, like your local Trelora agent, and being prepared with your pre approval. Whether it’s peace and quiet near the beach, or a close commute to downtown Charleston, we’re confident a new home is in your future!
Christopher has been been in the Real Estate industry for 8 years and has had the opportunity to close over 1,000 deals while acting as the Managing Broker for thousands more. Christopher is passionate about continuing to find ways to simplify, maximize, and serve Trelora’s clients exceptionally well and spends his time building teams to deliver high levels of service. When not doing real estate Christopher can be seen training for marathons and ultra relays with his 2 year old daughter, eating pizza, and drinking a steady stream of Diet Coke.