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:
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 Sullivan's 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:
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.
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 Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's 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.
SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Sullivan's Island's maritime forest is an area of dune grasses, flowers and shrubs filled with a number of animals, and it's been protected for several decades by town leaders.However, that protection – and town leaders' ability to govern those protections – was placed into jeopardy when previous town councilmembers entered into an agreement in 2020 to allow for selective trimming of the forest.On Thursday, S...
SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Sullivan's Island's maritime forest is an area of dune grasses, flowers and shrubs filled with a number of animals, and it's been protected for several decades by town leaders.
However, that protection – and town leaders' ability to govern those protections – was placed into jeopardy when previous town councilmembers entered into an agreement in 2020 to allow for selective trimming of the forest.
On Thursday, Sullivan’s Island For All announced that a circuit court judge had sided with the Town of Sullivan's Island in a legal dispute over whether or not current town councilmembers could overrule the previous council's agreement.
In other words, the Town of Sullivan's Island is no longer obligated to allow the selective trimming of the maritime forest and can reintroduce protective guidelines, if members of the council so choose.
“This ruling is a validation of everything Sullivan’s Island for All has fought for since this unlawful agreement was passed in a hastily called Zoom meeting by a former Town Council at the height of the pandemic,” said Sullivan’s Island for All President Karen Byko. “Anyone who read the settlement could immediately see that it was a one-sided attempt to destroy the forest that protects all of us from storm surge and hurricanes, so a few islanders could have better ocean views.”
In late 2021, members of the council hired an attorney to see if they had any options to overturn the settlement. The attorney, like the circuit court judge, said he believed the settlement to be "invalid and unenforceable."
"We are hopeful that the parties who have sued the Town for more than a decade will finally put this issue to bed and join with us to preserve the Maritime Forest for the benefit and enjoyment of all,” Byko said.
A copy of the full court order can be viewed in the embedded document below or by clicking here.
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — When Eric Salley took to Facebook on Monday to inquire about his daughter's lost Cochlear implant that was washed away by a wave, he didn't expect that the post would receive more than 7,000 shares on the social media site.New to the area, moving three weeks ago, Eric and Amanda Salley were looking for a way to spread the word to have others keep their eyes open for the lost Cochlear implant if it washed up on Sullivan's Island Beach. And then the post went viral, with the community rallyin...
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — When Eric Salley took to Facebook on Monday to inquire about his daughter's lost Cochlear implant that was washed away by a wave, he didn't expect that the post would receive more than 7,000 shares on the social media site.
New to the area, moving three weeks ago, Eric and Amanda Salley were looking for a way to spread the word to have others keep their eyes open for the lost Cochlear implant if it washed up on Sullivan's Island Beach. And then the post went viral, with the community rallying around them to help spread the word about their daughter's lost hearing device.
"We just wanted people to keep their eye out, to just let us know," Amanda said in an interview with News 4. "It took us by surprise. We just wanted people to know that 'hey if you see this, let us know.' But everyone has gotten so involved in the story."
The Salley family received far more than just the community's watchful eyes. Amanda said they received tips on how to ensure the implant stays on in the water and offers to help ease any financial burden that may come from losing an implant.
"Lesson learned," Amanda said with a slight smile.
From right outside of Chicago, the Salley family hasn't been to the beach quite as often as they have been since moving to Charleston. So, the events of a lost implant were an unforeseen circumstance, Amanda said. Their daughter was jumping waves with Eric when one wave got a little too high and washed away the implant. The good news is their daughter won't go without an implant for long.
Through Advanced Bionics and the family's team at the University of Chicago, all the pieces of the implant will be covered under warranty.
"It has been overwhelming with the support," Eric said. "What everyone is asking for and willing to pitch in for is just pretty overwhelming."
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Town Council can control most all aspects of tree-cutting in its beachfront maritime forest because it can’t be bound by decisions made by previous councils in the matter, a judge has ruled.The basic principle of Circuit Judge Jennifer McCoy’s ruling is a town council cannot enter into an agreement that will bind a successive council into doing or not doing certain things.The decision, filed Jan. 30 in state court in Charleston, comes after a former Sullivan’s Island council rea...
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Town Council can control most all aspects of tree-cutting in its beachfront maritime forest because it can’t be bound by decisions made by previous councils in the matter, a judge has ruled.
The basic principle of Circuit Judge Jennifer McCoy’s ruling is a town council cannot enter into an agreement that will bind a successive council into doing or not doing certain things.
The decision, filed Jan. 30 in state court in Charleston, comes after a former Sullivan’s Island council reached a settlement in 2020 that mandated more thinning of the maritime forest than the town had contemplated.
That settlement resolved a decadelong lawsuit — stemming back to 2010 — from a group of homeowners next to the forest who wanted to see more management of the land from the town.
The forest gradually grew on land that is accreting where the island meets the Atlantic Ocean. The effect has created a thicket between the large beach houses and the sandy beach, which blocked views of the ocean while also creating swampy and forested territory.
Any future councils would have been bound to that previous agreement.
The court decision changed that.
“As mayor, I’m very pleased that the judge agreed with our contention that that settlement agreement was not consistent with South Carolina law and that it should be voided,” said Mayor Patrick O’Neil.
Since the settlement was agreed upon, Sullivan’s Island residents elected a new council with a majority that was more favorably disposed to the maritime forest, O’Neil said.
“We’ve heard a lot from many residents — not all, but many residents — who fervently disagreed with that agreement,” O’Neil said. “That urged us to do something.”
The council brought forth a declaratory judgment that the prior settlement agreement was unenforceable and therefore void.
The court agreed with that position.
William Wilkins, a Greenville-based attorney with the firm Nexsen Pruett who represented the town, said he appreciated the prompt attention Judge McCoy gave to the matter.
“She correctly applied the relevant principles of law, including the law that a town council may not enter into agreements that will bind a successive town council under the facts of this case,” Wilkins said.
Development is prohibited on the land at the center of the complaint. The town can permit or do certain amounts of cutting on the maritime forest when deemed appropriate or beneficial.
Landowners can apply for permits to cut three species of bushes or trees in front of their property, between it and the beach.
Guidelines are in place for how low the trees and bushes may be trimmed.
Issues dividing residents in the matter included those who wanted a better view of the water or were concerned about the wild animals living in the forest, such as coyotes, and those who preferred allowing the natural state to continue.
There are plenty of good reasons to make the trip to Charleston, South Carolina: Historic homes make for colorful photo ops, the restaurant scene is fresh and inventive, and locally owned stores and boutiques make for unparalleled shopping. Some of the Holy City's greatest assets, though, aren't actually within the city limits. Pack the sunscr...
There are plenty of good reasons to make the trip to Charleston, South Carolina: Historic homes make for colorful photo ops, the restaurant scene is fresh and inventive, and locally owned stores and boutiques make for unparalleled shopping. Some of the Holy City's greatest assets, though, aren't actually within the city limits. Pack the sunscreen and load the car because the scenic beaches near Charleston are a gem. You won't find ultra-crowded beaches, just a quiet spot to relax and soak up the sunshine. The smooth sand, cool water, and near-perfect weather will make you think you've found pure bliss. Here, find our guide to the sun-drenched beaches that are just a quick drive from the Charleston Peninsula. They're worth the detour.
While the 23-mile drive from the peninsula out to Kiawah Island takes about 40 minutes on a good day, the pristine stretch of sand at Kiawah's public Beachwalker Park is well worth it. It's quiet, especially for a public park, fronts the ocean, and also offers views of the Kiawah River. Beach chair and umbrella rentals are available seasonally, and dogs are welcome, as long as they're on a leash. Explore Kiawah Island's private beaches by renting a house or villa on the island or booking a stay at the Sanctuary, the island's luxurious oceanfront hotel.
Just 12 miles from downtown, the "Edge of America" is the grooviest of Charleston's nearby beaches. It's a popular hangout for surfers, who frequent "The Washout," a stretch of coast known for having the area's best waves. Center Street, the bohemian beach town's colorful main thoroughfare, is lined with surf and souvenir shops and good eats, like Taco Boy and Rita's Seaside Grille, and is just steps away from Folly's 1,045-foot fishing pier.
The oceanfront county park on this barrier island has picnic tables, a sand volleyball court, and a playground for the littlest beach bums, making it a great place to take the whole family. Venture a little farther down the beach, beyond the park, to discover a number of fun beachfront bars and eateries, like family-friendly Coconut Joe's Beach Grill and The Windjammer, a classic dive bar and music venue that's as salty as they come. Paddle the intercoastal waterway from Isle of Palms where you may encounter dolphins and get up close to coves and marshes.
Though the island's nearly 4 miles of unspoiled beaches are private to residents and rental guests only (book your stay here), Seabrook is still worth a stop if you're already making the trip out to Kiawah's Beachwalker Park, which is just a few miles away. An Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, Seabrook is home to a variety of wildlife, including foxes, bobcats, deer, sea turtles, and bottlenose dolphins. Head to Bohicket Marina for a sunset stroll by the river, then plop down at an outdoor table at the Salty Dog Cafe for water views, East Coast peel-and-eat shrimp, and a cold beer or two.
When it comes to old-school cottages, small town charm, and a spotless beach to boot, you won't find a dreamier destination than Sullivan's Island. While neighboring Isle of Palms has a lively resort feel, 3.3-square-mile Sullivan's tends to fly under the radar–and the locals like it that way. Be sure to stop by Poe's Tavern on Middle Street for a killer burger before you head back toward town. Flip-flops and salty hair are always welcome on the front porch.
Accessible only by ferry, this barrier island is 45 minutes away from downtown Charleston and feels far away from the comforts of civilization. A good way to see the birds of this untouched island, and perhaps a playful dolphin if you're lucky, is on a guided paddling tour. Comb the beach for shells, walk Boneyard Beach where a forest is being recalled by the sea, or track foxes, bobcat, and deer.
About 60 miles from Charleston, Edisto Beach's unspoiled coastline makes it worth the drive. Stay beachside for a dreamy vacation, or take a day trip from Charleston. One of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina, palmetto-lined Edisto Beach State Park provides the picture-perfect backdrop for swimming, hunting for shells and sharks' teeth, fishing, or strolling. After a day on the island's trails, savor some seafood at the Waterfront Restaurant or the tacos at McConkey's Jungle Shack.
Hunt for shells and fossils near the candy cane–striped lighthouse on this uninhabited island just minutes from Charleston. Accessible only by boat, visitors can opt for several tour options, including riding out on a 55-foot power catamaran that's for the more adventurous traveler. For photography buffs, view the lighthouse from the shores of Folly Beach.
It takes a bit longer to reach from Charleston than some of the other beaches, but the slower pace on Pawleys Island is instantly soothing. This barrier island packs a lot into its four-mile stretch. Set off in a canoe or kayak to explore the salt marsh that separates this island from the mainland, or settle in for a day at the beach. There's shelling, fishing, and crabbing to be done. Sign up for surfing lessons—some of the best waves are near Pawleys Island Pier.
Similar to Bulls Island, Capers Island has its own forest of forgotten sea-bleached trees covering the shoreline. At low tide, you may see feeding dolphins and water birds like egrets and herons searching for a meal. Discover tide pools as you walk the beach, hike the island to see gators and deer in their natural habitat, or paddle along the shores and see jellyfish and crabs. Reach this undeveloped island by chartered boat, or take a kayak tour to learn about the area's ecosystem.
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Circuit Court has ruled to preserve the Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest. This comes after the town’s previous council approved a settlement agreement that would allow development to take place where the forest currently sits.The circuit court ruled in favor of the Town of Sullivan’s Island’s request to invalidate the settlement agreement that was agreed upon by the previous town council.“I was thrilled,” Sullivan’s Island...
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Circuit Court has ruled to preserve the Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest. This comes after the town’s previous council approved a settlement agreement that would allow development to take place where the forest currently sits.
The circuit court ruled in favor of the Town of Sullivan’s Island’s request to invalidate the settlement agreement that was agreed upon by the previous town council.
“I was thrilled,” Sullivan’s Island resident Cyndy Ewing said. “It’s a monumental ruling.”
Many Sullivan’s Island neighbors and elected officials are pleased with the ruling that will protect the island’s 200-acre maritime forest from development.
“The judge agreed that that agreement was not legal under state law,” Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said. “And one main issue there was that one sitting council for a municipality may not tie the hands of subsequent councils for a municipality.”
The ruling, which was handed down earlier this week, gives Sullivan’s Island Town Council complete authority over the forest.
“They can talk about how we can manage this land for the safety and enjoyment of all the residents,” Ewing said. “It’s thrilling.”
Ewing is thrilled because she says without the forest, the island would be nearly uninhabitable.
“It actually holds the land,” she said, “the plants out here, hold our land together. It also protects us from storm surge and hurricanes and flooding.”
In addition to keeping the island whole, and protecting residents from storms, O’Neil says the maritime forest is special for another reason.
“This is land which has been growing,” he said, “it’s been accreting. Whereas nearly every other barrier island along the East Coast is eroding. So, our island is getting bigger.”
Town residents say after years of dispute, they’re elated the court finally saw the forest for the trees.
“What we are looking forward to is being able to celebrate this incredible resource that we’ve been given instead of having to fight to protect it,” Ewing said.