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 James Island, 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 James Island natives, we're proud to serve the Lowcountry and all of South Carolina with trusted mortgage brokerage services.
Unlike some mortgage companies in James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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.
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The Lowcountry Cajun Festival will return at James Island County Park on April 22 from noon to 6 p.m.New for 2023, festival admission will be charged per vehicle, and tickets are available for advance purchase, according to a Feb. 23 press release. A limited number of vehicles will be admitted. Tickets will be $35 per standard vehicle of up to 15 people in advance. If available, tickets at the gate will be $40 per vehicle. For additional details and to purchase tickets, visit ...
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The Lowcountry Cajun Festival will return at James Island County Park on April 22 from noon to 6 p.m.
New for 2023, festival admission will be charged per vehicle, and tickets are available for advance purchase, according to a Feb. 23 press release. A limited number of vehicles will be admitted. Tickets will be $35 per standard vehicle of up to 15 people in advance. If available, tickets at the gate will be $40 per vehicle. For additional details and to purchase tickets, visit CharlestonCountyParks.com.
Gold Passes will be valid for vehicle admission; the pass must be presented at the gate for entry. Gold Passes will not be sold on site the day of the festival, but may be purchased in advance online. Receipt of purchase will not be accepted, according to the press release.
Read more: Lowcountry Cajun Festival returns to James Island County Park on Saturday
According to the press release, the 2023 Lowcountry Cajun Festival entertainment lineup is Shrimp City Slim Swamp All-Stars from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Les Freres Michot from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Corey Arceneaux & The Zydeco Hot Peppers from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The festival's small stage will host Friends of Coastal South Carolina for a program called “Who Calls the Swamp Home?” at 1 p.m. and the annual Crawfish Eating Contest will take place at 2:30 p.m., according to the press release. Other festivities include a crafters' market, souvenirs for sale and a kids' area.
Read more: Lowcountry Cajun Festival
Children can enjoy access to the inflatables and climbing wall in the kids' area all day with the purchase of a $10 hand stamp. Credit cards will be accepted at select locations, but attendees are encouraged to bring cash for convenience purposes, according to the press release.
No coolers or outside food or alcohol permitted, according to the press release. Carpooling is highly encouraged. Pets are not permitted to this event. James Island County Park will be closed to regular park guests on April 22 in order to host the festival.
The press release says Lowcountry Cajun Festival is presented by Charleston Animal Society, Coca-Cola and Charleston County Parks. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit CharlestonCountyParks.com or call 843-795-4386.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District and the city of Charleston signed a Section 219 Agreement on March 3 for the upfit of a stormwater pump station near the intersection of Bravo Street and Ralph H. Johnson Street responsible for draining over 11 acres, including the primary Medical District access roads of Courtenay Drive, Bee Street, and Doughty Street.According to a press release, the goal of the project is to reduce the risk flood damages to buildings and infrastructure in the Medic...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District and the city of Charleston signed a Section 219 Agreement on March 3 for the upfit of a stormwater pump station near the intersection of Bravo Street and Ralph H. Johnson Street responsible for draining over 11 acres, including the primary Medical District access roads of Courtenay Drive, Bee Street, and Doughty Street.
According to a press release, the goal of the project is to reduce the risk flood damages to buildings and infrastructure in the Medical District. The upfit will be a complete rehabilitation of the electrical and mechanical components of the pump station to maintain function and improve resiliency, as well as additional upfit work to account for intensifying storms and sea level rise. The existing pump station is reaching the end of its design life.
Read more: MUSC finalizes long-term ownership deal with Orangeburg's Regional Medical Center
The Charleston Medical District is located within the Spring Street and Fishburne Street and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) drainage basin. It includes the MUSC, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, and Roper Hospital. This area experiences severe and frequent flood events that have been documented, which cause the Medical District significant damage and limits access for emergency vehicles, residents, and employees, according to the press release. In 2019, the Medical District documented over $23 million in flood-related damages.
The press release says total project cost for the pump station upfit is estimated at $4 million, according to the press release. Project funds are appropriated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2022 to initiate the implementation of stormwater control measures and storm sewer improvements at the Spring Street and Fishburne Street drainage project. The cost share ratio of this project is 75% federal and 25% non-federal.
Read more: MUSC to hold seventh annual Head for the Cure 5K at James Island County Park
“We have been working with the city of Charleston to explore effective, feasible solutions to reduce risk and promote coastal resiliency on the peninsula and this in one piece of that puzzle,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, district commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, in a statement. “This is one of many projects we are working on with our great partners at the city to integrate local efforts in addressing flooding throughout the peninsula, including tidal, rainfall, and storm surge flooding.”
“Access to the Medical District is critical for the patients requiring care and the medical community employed in Charleston,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement. “This project, and others like it, will help ensure that our citizens and military veterans can access these life-saving facilities, even during a storm event.”
The signing of the agreement allows the Corps of Engineers and the city of Charleston to initiate preconstruction, engineering, and design and award a contract to complete construction, which is anticipated in 2025.
South Carolina House budget writers aimed to continue investing in economic development and the people of the state, the House’s lead writer says of the Ways and Means Committee budget proposal approved last week.Among the investments is money to prepare land for companies to locate, to freeze college tuition rates, to create new state parks and create a center for school safety.Lawmakers have about $3.5 billion in new annual and one-time revenue to spend in this spring’s budget discussions for the spending year tha...
South Carolina House budget writers aimed to continue investing in economic development and the people of the state, the House’s lead writer says of the Ways and Means Committee budget proposal approved last week.
Among the investments is money to prepare land for companies to locate, to freeze college tuition rates, to create new state parks and create a center for school safety.
Lawmakers have about $3.5 billion in new annual and one-time revenue to spend in this spring’s budget discussions for the spending year that begins July 1. In total, the House budget-writing committee proposed a $13.8 billion spending plan.
The full House is scheduled to debate the budget the week of March 13. After House approval, the Senate will start its deliberations.
Budget writers also had to take into account the second year of a scheduled tax cut that lowers the maximum income tax rate from 6.5% to 6.4%. The cut keeps about $96 million out of state coffers.
“I think this budget is an investment in the people and prosperity in South Carolina,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville. “Low taxes, conservative budgeting, aggressive economic development efforts lead to a strong economy, which leads to additional opportunity to invest in the people and the economy in South Carolina.”
Among the planned expenditures, budget writers want to give $200 million to the S.C. Department of Commerce for economic development site preparation such as putting in roads, water and sewer infrastructure to sites for major economic development projects. An additional $5.5 million would go to the agency to update its branding efforts when marketing to businesses.
“Site preparation is critical to developing a competitive edge for South Carolina in the southeast to attract companies that can be economic drivers for our state and on a local level,” said state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, D-Charleston.
The Ways and Means Committee also proposed spending $25 million on state park development, upgrades and maintenance.
The state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism has acquired land to build out the Ramsey Grove State Park in Georgetown County, Fort Johnson State Park in James Island and Black River State Park in Williamsburg and Georgetown counties.
The last park opened by PRT was H. Cooper Black in Cheraw in 2006.
“To the degree we can add unique and special things for our citizens to enjoy and that will further draw people to South Carolina to contribute to our local economy, that’s a win for us,” Stavrinakis said. “These are amazing properties and pieces of land that we’re preserving or making special places out of them.”
Budget writers also included $3.2 million to create a center for school safety at the former Gilbert Elementary School in Lexington 1. The center was among the recommendations made by Gov. Henry McMaster in his proposed budget and is in line with the plan to have a school resource officer at every school in the state.
“Having regular training sessions is really a response to (what happened in) Uvalde’s failure to act, ‘Hey, this is what you do when there’s an active shooter,’ and they’re going to go work on that and that’ll be part of their training,” Bannister said.
In-state college students also are in line to not face an increase in their tuition rates for the fifth year in a row. House budget writers proposed $69 million for tuition mitigation to freeze tuition rates for in-state students.
“We wanted to focus on the access and affordability in higher education for our young students across the state,” said state Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Lexington. “Freezing tuition prices obviously prevents an increased burden on families and our students throughout the state.”
House budget writers also want to spend $196 million for Medicaid and Medicare programs.
Part of the expense includes replacing matching dollars lost from a decrease in federal funding because the state’s economy is doing well, Medicare premium increases, increased reimbursement rates, increased costs for inflation and other costs to maintain the same level of service in the state.
“This will draw more providers to our underserved communities and that’s been a goal of our subcommittee for the past five or six years,” said state Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Beaufort, who leads a panel overseeing health care spending.
Again not included in the budget proposal is money for to start building Interstate 73 to connect Interstate 95 to Myrtle Beach, a roadway that would encourage economic development in the Grand Strand and help with hurricane evacuations.
McMaster and Horry County lawmakers last year sought $300 million to start the highway, a recommendation the governor pushed for again this year. However, lawmakers included $200 million to speed up bridge work planned by the S.C. Department of Transportation around the state.
“My feel for the House is there’s still a very strong desire to fix the (current) interstate system,” Bannister said. “That we have to make sure that it’s up to snuff before we start building new roads.”
The initial budget proposed by Ways and Means does not include member-directed spending for projects in their districts.
Member projects are expected to be added when the House receives the budget back from the Senate. In recent years some earmarked projects have been controversial, including how money went to a nonprofit run by a lawmaker’s friend and how an Upstate Christian organization wanted to use state dollars to build a school.
Bannister said the Ways and Means Committee is working on the best way to review projects before they get state money, to make sure organizations or nonprofits that get dollars are in good standing, and if the project is worth the investment.
“We’re trying to figure out if there’s a way to vet those projects better than we have in the past,” Bannister said.
Bannister did not know how many member projects would ultimately be included but the committee has billions in requests.