Few purchases give you a sense of pride and accomplishment like buying a new home. From white picket fences and lush green grass to cookouts with neighbors and holidays with the family, owning a home is magical. Like most great things, though, enduring the home-buying process takes a lot of work. There are many steps to take and difficult decisions to make along the way. One of the most crucial decisions is what type of home loan and mortgage broker to choose. Whether it's your first time buying a home or you're a seasoned owner with multiple properties, you will need a trusted mortgage broker in Charleston, SC, with your best interests at heart.
If you're like most people, you need a mortgage professional whose top priority is their customers - an expert who can provide accurate advice and guidance so you can make educated decisions. That's where Mija Mortgage comes into the picture.
Whether you want the best interest rates or don't know where to start in the home-buying process, Mija Mortgage can set you up in the right direction. From getting you pre-qualified to buy a home to securing a veteran's loan, Mija Mortgage is the trusted solution you need. As Charleston natives, we're proud to serve the Lowcountry and all of South Carolina with trusted mortgage brokerage services.
Unlike some mortgage companies in Charleston, SC, we bring years of high-level experience and insight to the table. Having worked with hundreds of clients during our time in business, we know you're probably going through a range of emotions right now. Buying a new home can be a scary process, especially for first-time buyers. That's why we make every effort to make ourselves accessible and available for clients. Our primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage for your family and your budget.
We know that many home loan officers have horrible reputations. Some brokers only see their clients as transactions, and a means to make quick money. They come off as impatient and pushy, failing to understand that this is a very big decision for you. At Mija Mortgage, we take the opposite approach. We encourage our clients to take as much time as needed to ask us questions and review mortgage documents. We could say that our mission is to exceed your expectations, but we'd rather just show you. From assistance finding FHA, VA, or other loans to refinancing your current mortgage, Mija is the team you can trust.
Here are just a few reasons why home buyers choose Mija Mortgage:
Most people simply don't have access to the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to purchase a home with cash. Instead, they take out a mortgage loan to buy a home. Unfortunately, many homebuyers are anxious to get the ball rolling and, due to their excitement, fail to shop around for the best mortgage rates. To some degree, avoiding this step makes sense, as it requires a lot of legwork and research to get the job done. For those not wanting to spend hours researching a reasonable mortgage, there's an alternative to consider - working with a mortgage broker.
To understand the benefits of working with a mortgage broker, you must first understand their role in the home-buying process.
Your mortgage broker is a third party that works to connect you with mortgage lenders. Essentially, a mortgage broker works as an intermediary between a person who wants to buy a home and the entities offering loans to buy a home. The mortgage broker works with both the borrower and lender to get the borrower approved. They also verify and collect paperwork from the borrower that the lender needs to finish a home purchase. Typically, mortgage brokers have relationships with several home loan lenders. Mija Mortgage, for example, has access to 50 different lenders, which gives us a wide range of home loans in Charleston, SC, from which to choose.
In addition to finding a home loan lender, your mortgage broker will help you settle on the best loan options and interest rates for your budget. Ideally, your mortgage broker will take a great deal of stress and legwork off your plate while also potentially saving you money.
If you're ready to buy a home, getting pre-qualified is a great choice that will streamline the entire process. Your mortgage broker makes getting pre-approved easy by obtaining all the documents needed to get you pre-qualified. In taking a look at your application, they will determine if you're ready for the pre-approval process. If your application needs additional items, the mortgage company will help point you in the right direction to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. Your mortgage broker will also walk you through the different types of loans, from Conventional and FHA to VA and USDA.
In order to be pre-approved for a home in South Carolina, you must have the following:
Most people choose to use a mortgage broker because they have access to different lenders and interest rates. But a great mortgage broker brings more to the table than a choice of lenders.
Save You from Unneeded Stress:One of the biggest advantages of hiring a mortgage broker is that they can find and vet loans while managing the mortgage process on your behalf. The best mortgage companies, like Mija Mortgage, hire brokers who are experts at keeping underwriting on track, coordinating with relevant parties, and handling all paperwork involved. At the end of the day, mortgage brokers save you stress and time and often expedite the closing process.
More Access: We touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating: A mortgage broker provides access to a range of loans, rates, and lenders. In fact, many mortgage brokers can get rates lower than what the average person could get from a lender.
Save You Money: There's a chance that your mortgage broker can get your mortgage fees reduced or waived by the lender, which could save you a good deal of money.
Help with Unfavorable Financial Situations: Expert mortgage brokers can often assist in challenging financial situations, like when a buyer has inconsistent income or less-than-perfect credit. Experienced brokers, like those at Mija Mortgage, are often aware of lenders willing to will work with nontraditional borrowers.
Provide Key Insights: Mortgage brokers share important insights, such as your chances for a home loan approval and exactly how much house you can afford. They can also save you from making costly mistakes based on their years of expertise in the mortgage industry.
While settling on the best type of home loan isn't as exciting as searching for the home of your dreams, it's equally important. Yes, your Mija Mortgage loan officer in Charleston, SC, will be happy to help explain the differences between home loans. But understanding the basics ahead of time will save you stress and time in the long run.
Conventional loans can be used to purchase a new home or refinance your current one. Conventional loans include fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. Generally, borrowers must put down a 3% down payment for owner-occupants, 10% for a vacation property, and 20% for an investment home. If you are able to pay 20% of the total cost of the home, you can avoid private mortgage insurance, which is otherwise required. Conventional mortgages are often preferred by buyers with good credit or people needing a non-owner-occupied mortgage.
FHA mortgages are issued by the U.S. government and backed by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). This loan is often preferred by first-time homebuyers because it only requires a 3.5% down payment and offers more flexibility with credit requirements and underwriting standards. FHA loans have several requirements you must meet to qualify. Contact Mija Mortgage today to learn more about FHA loans and whether or not they're best for your financial situation.
Also backed by the government, these loans are insured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and don't require money down. These loans have lower insurance requirements when compared to FHA loans, offer 100% financing if you qualify, and allow for closing costs to be covered by the seller. In order to qualify for a USDA loan, you must live in a rural area, and your household income must meet certain standards. These loans are often preferred by low-income citizens who live in rural parts of South Carolina.
Also known as VA or Veteran's Affairs loans, these mortgages are reserved for the brave men and women who served in the military. VA loans help provide our military members, veterans, and their families with favorable loan terms and an easy home ownership experience. Often, those who qualify are not required to make a down payment on their home. Additionally, these loans often include less expensive closing costs.
If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, contact Mija Mortgage today to speak with our Vetted VA Professional, Debbie Haberny. Debbie helps our military members, veterans, and their family members obtain home loans utilizing veteran benefits and would be happy to help as you search for a home.
Do you have questions about the complexities of mortgages and home loans? As your advocate, Mija Mortgage is here to answer any questions you have about mortgages and the home-buying process. We encourage you to call our office to speak directly with one of our mortgage experts or continue reading below for answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. I was talking to my spouse about mortgage brokers, and they mentioned the phrase home loan originator. What's the difference between a broker and a loan originator?
A. The mortgage industry is full of confusing jobs and titles, making it easy to confuse roles and responsibilities. Such is the case with mortgage brokers and home loan originators. Though their roles share similarities, a home loan originator in Charleston, SC, works for a bank or credit union, while a mortgage broker works for a brokerage company. Home loan originators and mortgage brokers are both licensed by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).
Q. I've heard from everyone that you must have mortgage insurance to buy a home. What is mortgage insurance?
A. Essentially, mortgage insurance helps protect lenders if a borrower forecloses on the home they bought. One advantage of mortgage insurance is that when borrowers pay it, lenders can often grant loans to buyers when they might not have otherwise. Though not always required to buy a home, mortgage insurance is often needed for down payments of less than 20%.
Q. I have just been pre-approved to buy a beautiful home in South Carolina. Is there anything I shouldn't do now that I'm pre-qualified?
A. Mortgage companies like Mija Mortgage, make getting pre-qualified for a home easy. However, as your loan process continues, your lender is required to run a new credit report before closing on a home. For that reason, it's to avoid any activity that might affect your credit score, such as:
Q. My brother-in-law recently refinanced his home in South Carolina. What is refinancing, and should I consider refinancing my home too?
A. Refinancing your home basically means you're swapping your current mortgage for a new one, most often with a lower interest rate. If you would like to reduce the term of your loan, lower your monthly mortgage payments, or consolidate debt, refinancing may be a smart option. Many homeowners also choose to refinance if they want to switch from adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed-rate mortgages or to get cash back for home renovations. To learn whether refinancing is a viable option for your situation, contact Mija Mortgage ASAP, as loan rates change frequently.
Here at Mija Mortgage, we believe that the best communities begin with the dream of home ownership. Our mission is to make those dreams come true, with personalized service, expert guidance, and good old-fashioned hard work. As one of the most trusted mortgage companies in Charleston, SC, we have years of experience working with a diverse range of clients, from first-time buyers and investors to self-employed borrowers and non-native English speakers.
Though every mortgage situation is different, one thing never changes: our commitment to clients. Contact our office today to get started on an exceptional home-buying experience.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A governmental engineering company will invest $2.5 million to expand its Charleston County operations, it announced Thursday.Defense Engineering Systems is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that provides high-value engineering and manufacturing services for the aerospace and defense industry, governor’s office spokesman Brandon Charochak said.“DES is excited to expand our engineering and prototype manufacturing operations in Charleston County. Operations have grown yea...
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A governmental engineering company will invest $2.5 million to expand its Charleston County operations, it announced Thursday.
Defense Engineering Systems is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that provides high-value engineering and manufacturing services for the aerospace and defense industry, governor’s office spokesman Brandon Charochak said.
“DES is excited to expand our engineering and prototype manufacturing operations in Charleston County. Operations have grown year over year for a decade,” Defense Engineering Services Managing Principals Bob Cole and Greg Gordon said in a joint statement, “This growth can be attributed to the business-friendly environment and technically capable workforce of South Carolina and Charleston County.”
The new investment will create 45 new jobs.
“We are fully committed to supporting our existing businesses, and we are thrilled to see DES’ announcement that will bring more than 45 jobs to Charleston County,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “We look forward to further strengthening our long-standing partnership with them in the years to come.”
The company works to solve problems on high-performance systems involving mechanical and electrical engineering, testing and evaluation, design and systems engineering, and survivability engineering. DES services the U.S. Department of Defense through vehicle systems integration, automotive design, survivability solutions, reverse engineering and obsolescence issues, while also serving the U.S. Army with medical training systems and innovative armor, Charochak said.
The company’s new 53,000-square-foot facility at 6920 Weber Blvd. in North Charleston will accommodate manufacturing space for large-scale projects and add manufacturing capabilities to its prototype and low-rate initial production shop.
The expansion will be complete in May and operations are already online. Individuals interested in joining the DES team should visit the company’s careers page.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
As a long-awaited redevelopment plan for a former Piggly Wiggly site in West Ashley reaches its final stages, ...
As a long-awaited redevelopment plan for a former Piggly Wiggly site in West Ashley reaches its final stages, Charleston City Councilman Peter Shahid is hosting a public meeting April 29 to answer questions about what happens next.
The city of Charleston owns and plans to redevelop the property — now a 2.2-acre slab of pavement. The city purchased the site, at the intersection of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road, for $3 million in 2017 and demolished the store the next year.
Since then the city has engaged in a lengthy process to gather public input and work with private developer and architect to design plans for the site that include a mix of civic, commercial and office space.
When a newly revealed $45 million price tag for the city’s portion of the redevelopment plan landed on City Council members’ desks this month, they voted to extend their contract with the developer, Landmark Enterprises, for another 60 days. Doing so will give them an opportunity to return to council with a revised and less costly proposal.
“While I am not pleased with the current 60-day extension, the developer needs time to revisit options consistent with what was laid out years ago. I will continue to collaborate with Landmark to ensure a first-class project befitting the citizens of Charleston,” Shahid wrote in a Post and Courier commentary about the project April 25.
As City Council awaits the revised proposal, Shahid is seeking to answer questions from area residents and update them on what to expect in the months and years to come.
Residents will also get a chance to learn more details about a separate redevelopment project on the adjacent Ashley Landing property. There, Charlotte-based developer Faison plans to relocate the current Publix on the opposite end of the property and build an apartment complex in its place. Unlike the Piggly Wiggly project, the Ashley Landing project will be entirely led by the private sector.
Shahid’s meeting will be held at 10 a.m. April 29 in the administrative building at Charlestowne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road.
Shahid represents District 9, which includes parts of West Ashley surrounding the Piggly Wiggly site and Ashley Landing. He also is a candidate for mayor of Charleston.
Swamp Fox Comedy Night Renowned comedian Andy Forrester is joining the hilarious lineup of professional comedians coming to Moncks Corner for a crazy low price. Forrester’s off-the-wall humor has made him a favorite across the country for over 20 years. He’s worked with legends like Louie Anderson, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Gilbert Gottfried, Marc Maron and more. Grab your tickets online before the show sells out.May 1. 7:30-10 p.m. $12. Dreamers Restaurant.312 Rembert C. Dennis Blvd. Monc...
Swamp Fox Comedy Night
Renowned comedian Andy Forrester is joining the hilarious lineup of professional comedians coming to Moncks Corner for a crazy low price. Forrester’s off-the-wall humor has made him a favorite across the country for over 20 years. He’s worked with legends like Louie Anderson, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Gilbert Gottfried, Marc Maron and more. Grab your tickets online before the show sells out.
May 1. 7:30-10 p.m. $12. Dreamers Restaurant.312 Rembert C. Dennis Blvd. Moncks Corner. KeithDeeComedy.com
Can’t Buy Me Love
Next weekend is your last chance to see 34 West Theater Company’s 2019 sellout show Can’t Buy Me Love. This original story follows a career-driven executive who must get married in three days in order to win an inheritance. An innovative ’80s-inspired show, Can’t Buy Me Love is perfect for date night or an evening with friends. Along with the entertainment, enjoy a menu of Champagne cocktails, wine, craft beers, coke floats and savory snacks.
Through May 5. Show times and ticket prices vary. 34 West Theater. 200 Meeting St. Downtown. 34West.org
Charleston Farmers Market
The Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square is back, open each Saturday in April through the end of November. The market is dedicated to the support and advocacy of Lowcountry farmers, growers, artisans, crafters, performers and more. Drop by and shop the market stands or kick back and enjoy live performances from community musicians.
Saturdays through November. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 329 Meeting St. Downtown. CharlestonFarmersMarket.com
Natural dyeing workshop
Whether it’s onion skins or annatto seeds from the local grocer, goldenrod picked from a roadside or more exotic materials such as indigo, cochineal or madder root, natural dyes have been cultivated and traded worldwide for centuries. Participants will learn from local fiber artist Kristy Bishop how to dye their own silk-wool-blend scarf after experimenting with different recipe fabric samples.
April 29. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $120/members; $150/nonmembers. The Dill Sanctuary. 1163 Riverland Drive. James Island. CharlestonMuseum.org
Postpartum Support Charleston fundraiser
Join Two Blokes Brewing for a fundraising event this weekend supporting the 20th annual Moms’ Run. A portion of sales from participating food truck Taternator and 100% of special dish sales will go to support Postpartum Support Charleston. Bring the family and enjoy a fun afternoon and support a good cause at the same time.
April 30. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Two Blokes Brewing. 547 Long Point Road, Suite 101. Mount Pleasant. TwoBlokesBrewing.com
Charleston, SC- The Myrtle Beach Pelicans cruised to victories in both ends of a doubleheader against the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night at Joseph. P. Riley, Jr. Park, winning the contests by scores of 7-2 and 8-2. The RiverDogs never held a lead at the end of an inning during the twin bill. The RiverDogs have dropped seven of their last nine games.Myrtle Beach (9-7) broke through first in the opener, which had the makings of a pitcher’s duel early. RiverDogs starter Marcus Johnson retired eight of the first nine hitter...
Charleston, SC- The Myrtle Beach Pelicans cruised to victories in both ends of a doubleheader against the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night at Joseph. P. Riley, Jr. Park, winning the contests by scores of 7-2 and 8-2. The RiverDogs never held a lead at the end of an inning during the twin bill. The RiverDogs have dropped seven of their last nine games.
Myrtle Beach (9-7) broke through first in the opener, which had the makings of a pitcher’s duel early. RiverDogs starter Marcus Johnson retired eight of the first nine hitters he faced and the bases were empty with two outs in the top of the third. Reivaj Garcia changed that with a double down the third base line to put himself in scoring position. Parker Chavers followed with his second home run of the season, a two-run blast over the right field wall.
A Chavers home run was a significant part of a four-run fifth inning as well. Johnson allowed a trio of singles to make it 3-0 with runners remaining on the corners. He was removed in favor of Alex Cook, who received a rude welcome from Chavers in the form of a three-run home run.
The combination of top Cubs pitching prospect Cade Horton and reliever Saul Gonzalez, kept the RiverDogs off the scoreboard until the seventh and final inning. With two outs, Kamren James and Christopher Barete singled to prolong the game. Odalys Peguero made sure the home team would not be blanked, splitting the gap with a two-RBI triple to reach the final score of 6-2.
Johnson struck out eight over 4.1 innings but took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits. Cook logged 2.2 innings with two runs allowed, one earned, on two hits. He struck out four.
Chavers was the most impactful bat in the contest, finishing 2-4 with two home runs and five RBI. Garcia, and Rafael Morel added two hits each. Peguero collected two of the RiverDogs five knocks.
In the nightcap, the RiverDogs were the “road” team as the game was being made up from a postponement in Myrtle Beach earlier in the month. Charleston (6-11) enjoyed a promising start in the opening inning, but left meat on the bone. Pelicans starter Branden Noriega walked three of the first four hitters he faced to load the bases with one out. The RiverDogs grabbed a 1-0 lead when Noriega was called for a balk. With two remaining in scoring position and one out, a strikeout and infield pop-up followed, and the RiverDogs had to settle for a lone run.
That lead was quickly erased in the bottom of the inning when starter Cade Halemanu walked the leadoff hitter, Garcia. Garcia quickly stole second base and advanced to third on a groundball by Cristian Hernandez. Moises Ballesteros evened the score with a sacrifice fly.
The Pelicans gained separation with several multi-run innings. Ballesteros made it 3-1 with a two-run blast in the third inning, his third home run of the season. In the next frame, a run scored on a Jack Hartman wild pitch before Hernandez drove in two more with a single to center with the bases loaded. Myrtle Beach’s largest lead of the night was attained when Rafael Morel connected for a two-run home run of his own in the sixth to grow the gap to 8-1.
The RiverDogs were hitless with one out in the sixth inning when Peguero stepped to the plate against Johzan Oquendo. The shortstop hit a chopper to the right side which was fielded by second baseman Pedro Ramirez. When Ramirez couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly, Peguero beat the throw to first for an infield hit. Charleston would then score once in the seventh on a throwing error by Hernandez at short.
The RiverDogs were limited to just a pair of infield singles in the defeat. Myrtle Beach received three hits and two RBI from Ballesteros and two hits from Chavers on a nine-hit display.
Halemanu suffered the loss in his first start as a professional, giving up three runs on three hits in 3.0 innings. Hartman was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks while recording two outs. Kikito Severino worked the final 2.1 innings on the bump, surrendering the final two runs.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the RiverDogs suited up as the Charleston Boiled Peanuts for the first time this season. An alternate identity created in 2018, the RiverDogs suit up several times each year as the Lowcountry’s favorite snack. During the game, fans were treated to a video showing players trying the treat for the first time.
The series resumes on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jonny Cuevas (0-1, 3.27) will be first to the mound for the RiverDogs against RHP Grant Kipp (0-2, 5.06), who was the opening night starter for Myrtle Beach. $1 beers will be available throughout the ballpark on a Budweiser™ Thirsty Thursday with a “Boats and Joes” theme.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - Summertime, and the living is easy…especially in your Charleston County Parks! Of course, you can enjoy the parks’ usual perks all season long—beautiful beaches, miles of walking and hiking trails, paddlesport classes, and nature programs, to name just a few. But for those looking to soak up great music and good vibes, there are some very special events that deserve a spot on your summer calendar.The ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - Summertime, and the living is easy…especially in your Charleston County Parks! Of course, you can enjoy the parks’ usual perks all season long—beautiful beaches, miles of walking and hiking trails, paddlesport classes, and nature programs, to name just a few. But for those looking to soak up great music and good vibes, there are some very special events that deserve a spot on your summer calendar.
The Moonlight Mixer series on the Folly Beach Pier is back! The first dance since
2020 will be held on May 5, and all ages are invited to celebrate summertime with some dancing on the pier. On three Friday evenings this summer, DJ John Dixon will keep dancers’ feet moving with the hottest oldies and beach music. Dancers can bring a date or meet friends, let loose, breathe in the ocean air and enjoy the beautiful new Folly Beach Pier.
The 2023 season of Dancing on the Cooper debuts on April 29 and continues on a variety of Saturday nights throughout the summer. Dancers of all ages can shag, shimmy, sway, and shuffle across the Mount Pleasant Pier, cooled by river breezes and spotlighted by the moon and stars. Listen to local bands jamming on tunes from your favorite genres, including beach, country, rock, funk, soul, jazz, salsa, and even the greatest hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Not so light on your feet? Unfold your lawn chair, grab a cold brew, and kick back to watch the dancers spin and the bands play. On July 4, a special holiday edition of Dancing on the Cooper—the Uncle Sam Jam!—doubles as your front-row seat to a spectacular fireworks show over Charleston Harbor. Advance tickets to each dance party are just $8, so dust off your dancing shoes and break out your best moves!
If a mellow evening is more your jam—but a weekend getaway to Jamaica isn’t in the budget—escape to the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series. Beginning June 2, these Friday night outdoor concerts at James Island County Park present traditional old-school roots reggae with a new-school attitude. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers, even your dog (on a leash, please) to chill out and unwind at the end of a long week. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome at the all-ages reggae shows, which Gold Pass holders and kids under 12 attend for free.
There’s no cooler way to spend a hot summer night!
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.