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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant natives, we're proud to serve the Lowcountry and all of South Carolina with trusted mortgage brokerage services.
Unlike some mortgage companies in Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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.
Push and pull. Ebb and flow. These are the cadences of the ocean — and the rhythms that have governed Brian Henry’s life. The boy who grew up in southern Louisiana’s Cajun country before relocating to bustling Atlanta, now lives in the heart of the “Hammock Coast” that his efforts helped nickname so appropriately.What started as a call from a tiny rustic inn on the ocean, luring in a couple looking for something more and less at once, has now become a lifelong legacy in the making for Brian Henry and his ...
Push and pull. Ebb and flow. These are the cadences of the ocean — and the rhythms that have governed Brian Henry’s life. The boy who grew up in southern Louisiana’s Cajun country before relocating to bustling Atlanta, now lives in the heart of the “Hammock Coast” that his efforts helped nickname so appropriately.
What started as a call from a tiny rustic inn on the ocean, luring in a couple looking for something more and less at once, has now become a lifelong legacy in the making for Brian Henry and his bride, Sassy. A leap of faith has led to thriving businesses, a mayoral seat and advocacy for an unspoiled oasis along a pristine coastline.
When people meet the Henry’s now, they see success. They see a power couple with political clout, they see one of the most famous pimento cheese companies in the U.S. (Palmetto Cheese) and they see owners of a thriving beachside bed and breakfast. What they don’t see, however, is the journey past and the future ahead.
The story starts for the Henry’s when each were born with a little something extra that made the go-getters want to better the world around them. That sauce is more secret and steeped in mystery than whatever makes that famous cheese sing so well (my mouth waters thinking about it).
The story that affects us, the fellow coastal South Carolina residents, begins at the Seaview Inn some 20 years ago when the Henry’s decided to leave the corporate cityscape to nurture a charming inn with no air conditioning, no television and perfect ambiance.
“We took over the Seaview Inn, and it was all slamming screen doors, rocking chairs and good Southern food,” Brian Henry reminisced. “That’s where the pimento cheese started. It was served as an app there.”
What he didn’t say yet was that everything actually began at that little inn. However, as the delightful recalling of his path to becoming mayor of Pawleys Island progressed, he realized just that.
After the Seaview was sailing smooth seas and their two small children were attending school, the Henry’s found themselves looking for their next opportunity to grow. That’s when Brian Henry asked Sassy, “What are you passionate about?”
“I’m passionate about my cheese,” she answered.
Sassy Henry, who revolutionized the Southern classic pimento cheese with flavors of cayenne pepper, draws from a traditional Georgian holiday cheese and whole shreds of textured cheddar. She teamed up with her husband to market the Pawleys Island vacationer’s favorite, which now rests on shelves in 9,500 stores in 40 states.
About a decade after the commercial birth of the South’s favorite cheese, Brian Henry felt what he calls “a pull, not a push” to become mayor. A respected town business owner and family man who was known to care about the future of the island, he decided to run for the seat at the urging of other townspeople who hoped to keep Pawleys Island the wonderful hideaway it is. He won.
“I was never interested in politics,” he remembered, “I’ve just always been involved. If you care about something being better, you can’t just sit on the sidelines and watch. You have to get in there.”
So, he got in there. He now speaks with pride about the amazing Fourth of July celebration that is “true Americans,” and about the founding of organizations that can keep big box stores and over-development out of Pawleys Island.
“The goal for the island is to maintain,” Henry offered. “Like the bumper sticker on my truck says, ‘love it and leave it alone.”’
Though sameness is the path to success for the island itself, the Henry’s still strive for more growth on the business front. The two are in the process of expanding their small Pawleys Island business Get Carried Away Southern Market into Mount Pleasant, where they hope to establish a flagship store for a future franchise. The business currently focuses on scrumptious Southern catering and take-out made easy. The Henry’s aren’t sure what the future holds for this venture, but once again, they are doing it together under a sky, not a ceiling.
Reflecting on all the accomplishments, Brian Henry recounted with a nostalgic tone, “Seaview was the genesis. This all happened because we bought that inn 20 years ago.”
Perhaps the inn is the energy source, embodying the soul of Pawleys Island itself. That is a soul of humility, simplicity and staying power. Just never forget, it is a soul powered by the force of all the Atlantic, which comes in and fades back every single day.
By Lorna Hollifield
The Mount Pleasant Lifestyle: Meet Real Estate Agent Robyn Jones Hall Saying Yes to Your Dress: Local Boutiques Offer Trends and Timelessness Intellectual Disability Inclusion Event Educates Community and Hopes to Address Workforce Challenges The Matthews Group: A Team that Gives
National furniture and home décor store Ballard Designs announces "Doors Open" in the high-end shopping destination, Mount Pleasant Town Centre, SC. This store is the brand's entry into retail locations in the state. As Ballard ramps up its retail presence nationwide, its new freestanding store joins more than 60 other shops and restaurants in this popular open-air mall just minutes from historic downtown Charleston. CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Home décor and furniture design company ...
National furniture and home décor store Ballard Designs announces "Doors Open" in the high-end shopping destination, Mount Pleasant Town Centre, SC. This store is the brand's entry into retail locations in the state. As Ballard ramps up its retail presence nationwide, its new freestanding store joins more than 60 other shops and restaurants in this popular open-air mall just minutes from historic downtown Charleston.
CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Home décor and furniture design company Ballard Designs has just opened its first South Carolina retail location, in its first stand-alone retail store. The new venue, a free-standing, airy space of almost 9,000 square feet, is part of the popular retailer's multi-year expansion currently spanning 13 states and 19 retail stores.
Ballard Designs' Mount Pleasant Town Centre retail store is just off Interstate 526 and Highway 17 North
"We're thrilled to be one more reason to visit this Lowcountry shopping destination," reports Dominic Milanese, VP of Retail for Ballard Designs. "With its beautiful homes, active lifestyles, and gorgeous coastal location, the Charleston area is the ideal choice for our first South Carolina store."
"If you entertain year-round like we do, you're going to LOVE our new Mount Pleasant store," Milanese adds. "We have a huge selection of gorgeous outdoor furniture, performance fabrics, indoor/outdoor rugs, and coastal accents. We hope to end up at the top of everyone's 'Things to Do in Mount Pleasant, SC' list."
Easy Access and Ample Parking - Near the Sweetgrass Baskets Stands
The new Ballard Designs store will serve passionate home decorating enthusiasts & professional designers alike, as well as visitors to the roadside Sweetgrass Baskets stands of Mount Pleasant's famed Gulla sweetgrass basket weavers. Located at 1128 Market Center Boulevard, the store has its own parking area at the front for easy access.
Regular store hours will be 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday. See Ballard Design's stores and products online.
About Ballard Designs
Since 1982, Ballard Designs® has offered a unique curation of home furnishings and décor from all periods and provenance. Its designers travel the world for inspiration, translating the latest trends in fashion, color and style into finely crafted products not found anywhere else. Ballard Designs is part of Qurate Retail GroupSM which includes QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill® and Grandin Road®.
Contact: Ann Bailey 404-603-7239 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Ballard Designs
MOUNT PLEASANT − An initial study of the legacy contaminants housed within the nooks and crannies of the Yorktown aircraft carrier at state-owned Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is now complete, a critical step in the cleanup process.More than 900 compartments across the ship were investigated for traces of asbestos, lead paint, contaminated fuel and water and other hazardous materials that could trigger an ecological disaster.Heading into the study, the Patriots Point Development Authority knew from a 2013 stu...
MOUNT PLEASANT − An initial study of the legacy contaminants housed within the nooks and crannies of the Yorktown aircraft carrier at state-owned Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is now complete, a critical step in the cleanup process.
More than 900 compartments across the ship were investigated for traces of asbestos, lead paint, contaminated fuel and water and other hazardous materials that could trigger an ecological disaster.
Heading into the study, the Patriots Point Development Authority knew from a 2013 study an estimated 1.6 million gallons of toxic substances had accumulated during the Yorktown’s days as an active warship.
Museum officials said during their last board meeting that to their knowledge there were “no surprises” from the investigation. A more complete picture is expected to be available in about a month.
Research Planning Inc. led the latest assessment, with the help T&T Salvage.
Patriots Point spokeswoman Mary Edwards said the purpose was to identify and quantify exactly what hazardous materials remain on the carrier to provide a new cost estimate for their removal.
The remediation work has been put off for a number of years because of funding. The previous cost estimate was $4.4 million.
Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order July 11 directing the S.C. Office of Resilience to study how to remove the contaminants to prevent them from leaking into Charleston Harbor, saying at the time that “the chance of an environmental disaster only increases with each passing year.”
Carissa Cochrane, spokeswoman for the resilience agency, said the salt water the ship sits in is corroding the ship’s starboard hull in some areas. Before repairs can be made, the state needs to know the scope of work required to remove the contaminants.
The full environmental study, which includes the remediation plan and final cost estimates, is expected by the end of this year.
“The study will provide an overview of the contaminants that remain aboard the ... Yorktown, and will prioritize a remediation plan based on the potential risk,” Cochrane said. “The information provided by this study, and the eventual removal of any identified hazardous materials, will help to ensure ecological health of the nearby waters, the safety of visitors, and the longevity of the USS Yorktown as a museum.”
The environmental assessment and associated remediation cost estimates will be used to identify potential funding sources, Cochrane said.
While there’s no known immediate danger, continued exposure to saltwater and the elements will lead to further corrosion of the outer hull over time. If the hull is structurally compromised, the deterioration and failure of the tanks storing these contaminants is inevitable.
The 2013 study found that 428 tanks and compartments on the ship contain about 160,000 gallons of petroleum residue and 1.7 million gallons of polluted water and toxic compounds. Since the last study, Patriots Point removed about 20,000 gallons of fuel.
“A release of existing contaminants could impact not only marine and other wildlife ... but could also impact the health of residents in the immediate area and have significant impacts on the economy, tourism, and the environment for the entire state and beyond,” Cochrane said.
The Navy donated the decommissioned World War II Essex-class carrier in “as is” condition to the state for use as a museum and waterfront tourist attraction in June 1975. It has been anchored along the Mount Pleasant waterfront ever since and draws about 300,000 visitors a year.
The homeowners association for the upscale I’On section of Mount Pleasant has prevailed in a marathon back-and-forth legal battle with the developer of the mixed-use neighborhood patterned after Charleston’s Historic District.The S.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 8 reinstated a 2014 jury award of $1.75 million to the I’On Assembly Inc. and two of its members from the I’On Co. LLC.“It’s been a long haul,” said Mount Pleasant attorney Justin O’Toole Lucey, who represents the plaintiffs....
The homeowners association for the upscale I’On section of Mount Pleasant has prevailed in a marathon back-and-forth legal battle with the developer of the mixed-use neighborhood patterned after Charleston’s Historic District.
The S.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 8 reinstated a 2014 jury award of $1.75 million to the I’On Assembly Inc. and two of its members from the I’On Co. LLC.
“It’s been a long haul,” said Mount Pleasant attorney Justin O’Toole Lucey, who represents the plaintiffs.
The 21-page Supreme Court decision contained a warning, noting that “the facts of this case are complicated, and ... ‘not for the weary.’” Justice Kaye Hearn, who recently retired, wrote in one of her last opinions that the dispute “involves promises made and broken to homeowners by a developer and its affiliated entities.”
The lengthy legal skirmish broke out after a business with ties to the I’On Co. and principals Tom Graham and Vince Graham sold the community docks, boat landing and adjacent Creek Club event space in 2009. Previously, they had promised would-be buyers and others that the waterfront amenities would be transferred to the homeowners association.
I’On resident Brad Walbeck filed a lawsuit about a year after the $1.4 million sale to 143 Civitas LLC went through. He was later joined by another property owner, Lea Ann Adkins.
The Grahams, who are father and son, were dropped from the case before it went to trial — twice — in 2014. The judge declared the first proceeding a mistrial after the I’On Assembly, which originally supported the developers, switched sides at the last minute.
After the second trial, a Charleston County jury awarded the homeowners group $1.75 million to compensate them for buying the boat ramp and docks and for making other financial concessions under a settlement with the seller. Walbeck was to receive an additional $20,000.
The I’On Co. challenged the outcome. The S.C. Court of Appeals ruled against the firm in 2018 but then abruptly reversed itself the next year, “this time practically nullifying the jury’s verdicts,” according to Wednesday’s ruling.
“They took everything away from us,” Lucey said.
The case then went before the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in mid-December. It overturned most of the 2019 decisions in an opinion signed by Justice John Kittredge, who said the developer “breached the fiduciary duties” it owed to I’On homeowners, among other findings.
“This is one of the quickest opinions I’ve ever seen them issue,” Lucey said.
Vince Graham said he was “disappointed and a bit frustrated” by the decision. He added that the I’On Co. “delivered far more than promised” in terms of waterfront amenities
“We and the plaintiffs have different perspectives on the issues in the suit,” Graham said. “We’ll weigh our options over whether or not to ask for reconsideration. My main concern is that if the court’s decision stands, it will place yet another chilling effect on the ability to develop innovative neighborhoods that seek to advance urban principles of South Carolina’s most beautiful towns and cities.”
I’On was one of the region’s most novel — and contentious — real estate deals when Graham first proposed it in the 1990s. Situated on about 240 acres between Mathis Ferry Road and Hobcaw Creek, the mixed-use development was conceived as a dense “new urbanist” or “neotraditional” neighborhood inspired by downtown Charleston and other cities, with narrow roads, open space, businesses and hundreds of homes with varying architectural styles.
“I will continue to work with those who desire to build beautiful neighborhoods,” Graham said.