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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms natives, we're proud to serve the Lowcountry and all of South Carolina with trusted mortgage brokerage services.
Unlike some mortgage companies in Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, 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.
Ever since the Isle of Palms incorporated in the 1950s, voters have elected eight at-large council members and a mayor. In the coming month, these city voters will decide if that’s two council members too many.We don’t think it is. More specifically, we don’t see any big advantage that shrinking City Council would provide to residents, and we see a few disadvantages.The idea of reducing council’s size has been batted around quietly for several years, Mayor Phillip Pounds tells us, partly because the city...
Ever since the Isle of Palms incorporated in the 1950s, voters have elected eight at-large council members and a mayor. In the coming month, these city voters will decide if that’s two council members too many.
We don’t think it is. More specifically, we don’t see any big advantage that shrinking City Council would provide to residents, and we see a few disadvantages.
The idea of reducing council’s size has been batted around quietly for several years, Mayor Phillip Pounds tells us, partly because the city does seem to have a rather large council for its size, about 4,400 residents. Only about 4% of South Carolina municipalities have more than seven council seats, and most of them are much larger. For instance, Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant have 12, 10 and 8 council seats, respectively.
The debate has remained fairly quiet, even as the council added it to the Nov. 8 ballot, and with less than three weeks remaining before early voting starts, no one has offered a compelling reason to vote “yes.” The conservative approach to any referendum question is to maintain the status quo unless there’s a compelling reason to make a change.
The primary upside of shrinking the Isle of Palms council apparently is saving a little time for council members and staff. Not to knock efforts to improve efficiency, but that strikes us as pretty thin gruel. It’s true that voters still would have six council members representing them (all seats are at-large), but who’s to say that the seventh or eighth council member wouldn’t be the one who listens to particular voters’ concerns most closely — and does the best job representing them?
Because of the way the reduction is planned, if voters approve it in the referendum, the City Council would be a mess for two years. The slim-down would be phased in with voters electing just three rather than four seats in the 2023 city election and then doing the same thing in the 2025 election. That would leave the council with an even number of votes (including the mayor’s) for two years. That might make a big difference, delaying important action on an important issue. Or not. But why take the risk?
This issue seems to be important mainly inside City Hall. While Mayor Pounds tells us he supports the idea, he acknowledges that the average Isle of Palms resident seems to have little skin in this game: “I can’t imagine they would notice a blip if we have five council members or seven or nine.”
If City Council members believe the current city governance is inefficient, then perhaps they should come up with changes that don’t affect the voters’ ability to elect council members. And if council members believe the job requires too much work — about 10 hours of work a week, on average — for too little pay (council members make $1,500 a year, but do qualify for health insurance benefits), perhaps they should either reexamine their work schedule or step aside for someone else to serve.
The council’s relative size might make the job of its members more time-consuming, but that also might work to ensure that their consensus, once they arrive at one, will better stand the test of time.
The city is grappling with big decisions, from the future of its marina to possible adjustments in its short-term rental rules to the logistical headaches involved in managing summertime crowds. We’re unconvinced City Council would make better decisions with fewer council members.
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — Another Lowcountry Town is in the Spotlight!The Film "Suncoast" starring Woody Harrelson is filming all over the area, from Mount Pleasant and James Island, to Moncks Corner.RELATED: Hollywood movie crews begin filming in Moncks CornerOctober on the Isle of Palms tends to be quiet. But on Thursday, Ocean Boulevard was bustling....
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — Another Lowcountry Town is in the Spotlight!
The Film "Suncoast" starring Woody Harrelson is filming all over the area, from Mount Pleasant and James Island, to Moncks Corner.
RELATED: Hollywood movie crews begin filming in Moncks Corner
October on the Isle of Palms tends to be quiet. But on Thursday, Ocean Boulevard was bustling.
“We’re shooting a beach scene, and it’s actually a Super Bowl party, and two of our protagonists are at the bar," says Francesca Silvestri, a movie producer in Suncoast.
The crew for the movie says they chose Isle of Palms because of the small-town atmosphere and its beautiful beaches.
“We’ve been here since August and we’re in love with Charleston and the wonderful people that live in this wonderful city. We’re actually cheating it for Florida," continued Silvestri.
South Carolina sets aside almost $16 Million a year for film incentives, which allows in-state production.
READ MORE: Parts of Isle of Palms to be closed due to filming Thursday
Staff from the Film Commission Office look forward to putting small towns on the map.
“When you look at a crew base, when you look at how many people these productions apply, it gives our citizens a chance behind the camera -- or even in front of the camera," says Dan Rogers, the Senior Project Manager for the South Carolina Film Commission.
And Charleston is a favorite location for Blockbuster projects, like "Outer Banks," "The Righteous Gemstones," "The Notebook," and the "Halloween" movie series.
Besides the new movie bringing excitement to the Lowcountry, it also brings more money in for small businesses.
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“It’s exciting. The flower shops are busy, and the dry cleaners are busy, and the restaurants are all busy, and it’s good business," says Matt Storm, the Director of the Film Office.
Production for the movie stops in November, but they are still looking for extras, If interested, click here!
Isle of Palms City Council members will hear the first reading of a plan to temporarily block short-term rentals in a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council did not support a moratorium or pause on issuing new short-term rental licenses. The agenda item at a Dec. 6 special meeting garnered a lot of attention.Many people spoke, both for and against the moratorium, at the meeting. One person presented a petition with more than 600 signatures she said was ‘mostly from re...
Isle of Palms City Council members will hear the first reading of a plan to temporarily block short-term rentals in a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council did not support a moratorium or pause on issuing new short-term rental licenses. The agenda item at a Dec. 6 special meeting garnered a lot of attention.
Many people spoke, both for and against the moratorium, at the meeting. One person presented a petition with more than 600 signatures she said was ‘mostly from residents’ against the pause. The property owner of Wild Dunes also spoke on behalf of some residents against the ordinance.
But Beverly Miller is one of many who said they wanted to see the moratorium pass. She has also owned a short-term rental on the island.
“Speaking for myself, I don’t want our city to be the last city who puts together any kind of restriction -- and I call it a restriction -- in order to find some balance between the residents and the short-term rental operators. Because having been on both sides, we’re not saying you don’t have any. You do want to accommodate the vacationers and the rental market. But you also need to find that quality of life for the residents,” Miller said.
Council member Blair Hahn voted against the moratorium.
“It appears to me that the issue is not so much short-term rentals as it is an explosion of traffic in noise and chaos on certain through freeways on our on our island. So if we can control that, I think we can control the concerns and the short-term rental issue will take care of itself,” Hahn said.
He said going forward the council will work hard to enforce speed limits, noise ordinances and other issues to protect the quality of life.
According to the council as of Dec. 5, 2022 there are 1678 licenses with 211 applications coming in since June.
Council member Jan Anderson says the more than 1600 licenses make up more than a third of the island. She voted in favor of the moratorium. “We don’t want to kill the rental market. We just want to manage it. We are now the only beach community in the Charleston area with an unlimited short-term rental opportunity.”
She goes on to say only 50 of the current short-term rental licenses are to residents. Council member Scott Peirce also expressed support for the moratorium as a short opportunity to evaluate the situation.
The council overall voted against the moratorium. For now, there won’t be a pause on issuing new licenses or a cap on how many are allowed.
City council asked staff members at its Nov. 15 regular meeting to prepare a 6-month moratorium for the council to consider at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting.
The agenda states the moratorium would “allow city council to evaluate the short-term rental regulations recommended by the planning commission.”
The document also says over the last few months the city received “several hundred new business license applications for short-term rentals which represents an exponentiation increase in applications.”
After Tuesday’s first reading, the moratorium must go through a public hearing and second reading before it could be ratified.
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The Isle of Palms (IOP) City Council has chosen...
The Isle of Palms (IOP) City Council has chosen a new traffic pattern for the IOP Connector.
Council members want two lanes heading into Mount Pleasant and one lane onto the Island. However, Councilman Blair Hahn believes adding more lanes means adding more traffic and that adds chaos.
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"I think it’s a mistake," Hahn said. "I think what we need to do is look at the safety of everybody that comes on the island and uses the bridge."
Hahn is also worried about the access first responders may lose in case of an emergency, noting first responders need as much room on the roadway as possible.
The Isle of Palms City Council has chosen a new traffic pattern for the IOP Connector. (WCIV)
"To me, those are the people who put their lives at risk on a daily basis," he said. "We should listen to them and what concept they think is the best for the bridge. Whether you call it a median or emergency lane, it is a buffer that allows first responders to operate on the bridge without putting themselves at risk."
Local advocate Katie Zimmerman of Charleston Moves says if it isn't broken, it doesn't need to be fixed. She feels the IOP Connector already allows necessary space for all types of travelers and is hopeful the connector lane design won't change.
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"Given what the options are, and the situation is, we think the current existing configuration of IOP connector is the best option," she said. "It meets all the needs and it's the safest option for people who are biking, walking, and running given the amount of space out there. This was not a road diet, this was not a change for drivers, it was an improvement for people walking biking, and running.
IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds says once they meet with the City of Mount Pleasant, they can move forward on a final decision for bikers and pedestrians.
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms City Council heard from residents about Friday’s beach shooting and also discussed potential changes coming to the Isle of Palms (IOP) Connector.The special meeting was scheduled prior to last Friday’s shooting that left five people wounded. Some neighbors attended to share their thoughts on the shooting.“Awesome shoutout to our first responders who got in last Friday’s continuous,” Isle of Palms resident Al Klaus said, “contentious world of re...
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms City Council heard from residents about Friday’s beach shooting and also discussed potential changes coming to the Isle of Palms (IOP) Connector.
The special meeting was scheduled prior to last Friday’s shooting that left five people wounded. Some neighbors attended to share their thoughts on the shooting.
“Awesome shoutout to our first responders who got in last Friday’s continuous,” Isle of Palms resident Al Klaus said, “contentious world of reality that we live in.”
For neighbors like Terry McGowan, who experienced the shooting first-hand while walking with his wife on the beach.
“This incident has left us both traumatized,” McGowan said.
He is asking for action to be taken to prevent something similar from happening in the future.
“We believe it’s imperative for council to address the root causes of these flash mobs and improve city services,” McGowan said.
After public comments, council began discussing results of a survey distributed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) regarding possible lane configuration changes for the IOP Connector.
“The report that’s in our packet summarizes about 3300 survey responses after scrubbing through duplicates,” Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds said.
Of those 3300 responses, 48 percent were IOP residents. Their top two concerns are traffic congestion and the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.
“Participants priority ranking item on the bridge primarily focused on reducing traffic congestion and improving safety,” Pounds said.
From the five potential changes SCDOT proposed last December, Concept Five was the most popular choice.
“Concept Five,” Pounds said, “which you may remember adds a lane capacity on the bridge by adding a second lane toward Mount Pleasant, received the highest rating with 50 percent of the respondents rating it four stars or higher.”
And many councilmembers appear to be in favor of that option as well.
“With the alternatives that have been proposed by DOT,” Isle of Palms Councilwoman Jan Anderson said, “there’s one that provides additional capacity on the road that will help relieve traffic congestion, and that’s option five.”
Mayor Pounds says any changes made to the IOP Connector will likely come after the summer.