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 Summerville, 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 Summerville natives, we're proud to serve the Lowcountry and all of South Carolina with trusted mortgage brokerage services.
Unlike some mortgage companies in Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville announced the approval of the Maple Street Extension project on Monday.Years after the project was introduced in 2014, Blythe Development Company was awarded the bid to begin construction on the project, which will improve in total a mile and a half of roads throughout Summerville.The town acquired 90 pieces of property in order to make the project possible with the first of four major projects of the extension being Maple Street, which will be widened from two lanes to four to...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville announced the approval of the Maple Street Extension project on Monday.
Years after the project was introduced in 2014, Blythe Development Company was awarded the bid to begin construction on the project, which will improve in total a mile and a half of roads throughout Summerville.
The town acquired 90 pieces of property in order to make the project possible with the first of four major projects of the extension being Maple Street, which will be widened from two lanes to four to reduce traffic and improve safety in the area.
The project does not just include Maple Street, but intersection improvements at US-78 adding turn lanes on all approaches, installation of a traffic signal at West Richardson Avenue and new alignment from West Richardson to Parsons Road where it will transition from three lanes to two lanes at the Parsons Road connection.
Summerville Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Russ Cornette has been with the project since the beginning. He says he’s really happy to see the project get approved for construction.
“I think this is the largest purchase order the town of Summerville has ever approved,” Cornette says. “The towns and cities the size of Summerville don’t take on large projects like this; this is kind of a unique situation.”
The cost of the project, including construction engineering and inspection services, will be funded by the Town of Summerville’s Mid-Town Tax Increment Finance District funds up to $11 million Dorchester County Sales Tax Referendum Funds will fund the remaining cost.
“The project purpose is to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety and that whole corridor anytime you have that many cars, taking up that little space that’s there, you’re going to have accidents and we’ve seen that the past four years,” Cornette says. “That extra lanes extra capacity will help congestion and get people moving a little more freely than they are now.”
Construction on the Maple Street Extension project starts in April or May of 2023 with the goal of completion being in the spring of 2025.
“The Maple Street extension project will help alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety,” says Summerville Mayor Ricky Waring. “I am grateful for the support from our agency partners and the Dorchester County voters who supported the transportation sales tax referendum that helped fund this project.”
For further details on the Maple Street Extension project, visit project page on the Town of Summerville’s website.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
SUMMERVILLE — Some of the youngest birders here have joined forces to monitor and populate bluebirds, a species that faced concerns of extinction nearly five decades ago.They all live in the Summers Corner neighborhood off S.C. Highway 61, a fairly new community where bluebirds were the first inhabitants.Nine years ago, when the community was under construction, a bluebird box was installed on the front street. The wooden boxes function much like the cavities the species creates in dead trees. Entrance holes allow them to...
SUMMERVILLE — Some of the youngest birders here have joined forces to monitor and populate bluebirds, a species that faced concerns of extinction nearly five decades ago.
They all live in the Summers Corner neighborhood off S.C. Highway 61, a fairly new community where bluebirds were the first inhabitants.
Nine years ago, when the community was under construction, a bluebird box was installed on the front street. The wooden boxes function much like the cavities the species creates in dead trees. Entrance holes allow them to move inside for shelter and nesting.
When the first box was put up in Summers Corner, only a building and four home structures were on the property. Three days after the box was installed, the birds moved in, said Tracy Erwin, the community’s marketing specialist.
More than 41 neighborhood children who make up the Bluebird Brigade will monitor that box and more than 20 others starting next week.
They’ll venture out into the area to take inventory of the species and clean out the wooden boxes the bluebirds call home.
Rhonda Plummer leads the Bluebird Brigade, which was started by the Summers Corner Garden Club in March 2021. The group started with 15 children and nearly tripled in three years. Birders range from 3 to 13 years old.
Plummer said the group was started to help populate the birds and provide an opportunity for children to experience the hands-on process.
The children convened at the front of the neighborhood on Feb. 25 to learn basic facts about bluebirds, how to clean and prepare the boxes and make feeders for the birds using coffee filters and cereal.
Jim Sproull, a board member for the S.C. Bluebird Society, spoke to the birders about the importance of recording data about the species and answered a multitude of questions, including those about egg colors, how to get the birds to leave the boxes and what to do when the eggs don’t hatch.
This task will be a new one for several members of the 2023 Bluebird Brigade cohort. Six-year-old Greyson Rose-Meadows is one of the newbies.
He said he has bluebirds already in his yard. But his favorite species is the blue heron.
“I love all animals except for the guys in the midnight zone,” Rose-Meadows said, alluding to vampire squid, tripod fish, anglerfish and other species found in a part of the ocean that receives no sunlight. “They’re terrifying.”
But he is excited to track bluebirds this spring.
Bluebird Brigade members will split up into groups to take weekly inventory and monitor the boxes from March to July. All data will be reported to the S.C. Bluebird Society and then to Cornell University.
Data on the species is important because it can help scientists understand its status.
Sproull of the Bluebird Society said he is unsure just how many bluebirds there are in the state, but there is a good population. Three species are found in North America. The Eastern bluebird lives here and in other states East of the Mississippi River.
“We are making progress,” Sproull said. “There are good people like this group that want to do something (about the species).”
He said the Bluebird Brigade is a good example of positive steps to help the birds.
About 10 percent of North America’s population was lost last year due to extreme cold and heat-related weather events.
But even with such a large loss, the species is more stable now than it was between 1920 and 1970, when Sproull said the North American population declined by 90 percent.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester Paws is busting at the seams when it comes to space for puppies and dogs.The shelter says they are over max capacity.More than 100 adult dogs and 10 puppies are currently at Dorchester Paws and waiting for their forever home.The adoption center says they are doing all they can to give adopters everything they may need.“Every animal is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped that comes into our care that goes out into an adopter,” Dorchester Paws Director of M...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester Paws is busting at the seams when it comes to space for puppies and dogs.
The shelter says they are over max capacity.
More than 100 adult dogs and 10 puppies are currently at Dorchester Paws and waiting for their forever home.
The adoption center says they are doing all they can to give adopters everything they may need.
“Every animal is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped that comes into our care that goes out into an adopter,” Dorchester Paws Director of Marketing and Development Danielle Zuck said. “They’re also medically cleared to the best of our knowledge and our veterinarian’s knowledge at that time of the animal. We give you pet insurance for 30 days, and we also are now giving a free veterinarian hotline, to call for any questions that you have within the first 30 days as well.”
The lack of adoptions has led to overcrowding, and they have had to adjust to make room for all dogs.
“When we get to the point where we have to put the dog in a ‘pop-up,’ we are in what we call crisis mode,” Dorchester Paws Director of Operations April Howard said. “They are the small, wire crates that you see people use when they go to work during the day or when they go grocery shopping. They’re not meant for long-term housing.”
They say they are seeing an increase in owner surrenders, on top of puppy and kitten season.
“Warmer weather brings puppies and kittens a lot sooner, so here they are,” Zuck said. “We have so many animals that have hit our floor because of animals are just not spayed and neutered in our county as much as we would like them to be.”
If you cannot take on the responsibility of an adopter, Zuck explains there are other ways to help.
“Take a dog on a doggy date, you can go around town, you can do an overnight, as well as just a foster to give an animal a shelter break,” Zuck said. “They say even if you can give an animal a weekend, it will lower their stress level tenfold.”
Dorchester Paws is open at 136 4 Paws Ln in Summerville for adoptions every day from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Shoe Show Inc. has expanded its retail portfolio with the acquisition of Charleston, S.C.-based outdoor-focused retailer Half-Moon Outfitters.After months of negotiations, the merger was finalized in mid-November, Shoe Show Inc. said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.According to ...
Shoe Show Inc. has expanded its retail portfolio with the acquisition of Charleston, S.C.-based outdoor-focused retailer Half-Moon Outfitters.
After months of negotiations, the merger was finalized in mid-November, Shoe Show Inc. said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Shoe Show, Half-Moon Outfitters will maintain operations out of its Charleston headquarters under the helm of EVP Richard “Beezer” Molten. The company will continue to operate under the Half-Moon Outfitters brand and will preserve its existing business model.
For Lisa Tucker, president and CEO of Shoe Show Inc., this deal was born out of admiration for Half-Moon’s business. “I was a customer of Half-Moon Outfitters and felt it was one of the best in the business, so I reached out with an offer,” Tucker said in a statement. “The strength and reputation of their organization speaks for itself, and we are excited to help facilitate future growth.”
She added, “Beezer and his team have built a business with fierce loyalty among its consumers, and we look forward to working with them to provide an even wider range of fashion options with the best possible product and an enhanced shopping experience.”
As for Molten, he is excited for the possibilities of this new arrangement as he looks forward to expanding into new markets. “We will begin to look at ways to make the shopping experience better at Half-Moon Outfitters,” Molten said in a statement. “Leadership, culture and the fundamentals that make Half-Moon Outfitters special are all protected but paired with a big new door that opens to growth in a way that makes sense for the brand. Playing offense is the only way. It is my sincere hope that with this growth, new opportunities will open.”
Founded in 1993, Half-Moon Outfitters celebrated its 30th anniversary last month and recently announced it will open a ninth store at 605 North Main St. in Summerville, S.C., later this year. Half-Moon’s shoe selection includes hiking boots, clogs, mocs and running shoes from brands such as Patagonia, On and Hoka.
The acquisition marks a significant expansion into the outdoor apparel and equipment market for Shoe Show Inc., which also owns Shoe Dept., Burlington Shoes and more. According to the Concord, N.C.-based company, it operates approximately 1,100 stores in 47 states across all of its brands.
Music, guided tours and an appetizing spread were all part of the package during the Summerville-Dorchester Museum’s 30th anniversary function on Feb. 5, as featured attraction Dr. Ed West held court to introduce a new softcover publication and delve into the people of “off.”In leading up to his presentation of a new release titled “When The President Circled Summerville,” West entertained a gathered audience in the museum courtyard with accounts of some of Summerville’s founding and/or influential ...
Music, guided tours and an appetizing spread were all part of the package during the Summerville-Dorchester Museum’s 30th anniversary function on Feb. 5, as featured attraction Dr. Ed West held court to introduce a new softcover publication and delve into the people of “off.”
In leading up to his presentation of a new release titled “When The President Circled Summerville,” West entertained a gathered audience in the museum courtyard with accounts of some of Summerville’s founding and/or influential residents from days gone by who weren’t necessarily natives of the community.
Through the years, these individuals — much like many present-day out-of-towners — were referred to as the people of “off,” per the historian.
“The people who came here and really made history did not live here. We have a few people who truly are historical characters who are from Summerville. But a whole lot of people who really made a big name here didn’t live here,” stated West.
Dr. Charles Shepard of North Haven, Connecticut was one of these seminal figures, who traveled to Summerville to build the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in 1888, recognized as the first commercial tea plantation in the United States. Lipton Tea Company would eventually claim the old Pinehurst plants and transported them to Wadmadlaw Island years after the operation faltered once its founder passed in 1915.
Similarly, West recounted how German immigrant Frederick Wagener purchased the Summerville Hotel Company in 1890, and went on to open the Pine Forest Inn a year later.
Wagener started out as a grocer and emerged as a self-made millionaire. He would go on to build the largest commercial edifice in Charleston on East Bay Street in 1880 and lived at the “Rutledge House” on the other end of Broad Street.
The book further highlights the exploits of railroad man John Averill of Plattsburgh, New York, who led the rebuilding efforts in Summerville in the aftermath of the 1886 earthquake.
But the protagonist of the book is the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. The New York City-born statesman, conservationist, soldier, writer and historian is prominently featured on the cover the museum’s limited-edition printed copy due to his 24-hour visit to Summerville in 1902. The purpose of the sojourn was to tour the Lowcountry due to “two remarkable men,” as mentioned in the write-up, who joined forces on a “benighted effort” to host a World’s Fair in the Holy City.
“Teddy Roosevelt spent the day in Charleston and he came up to Summerville and spent the night at the Pine Forest Inn and then he went over to see the tea farm,” explained West.
While in Charleston, Roosevelt claimed that his mother, Martha Stewart “Mittie” Roosevelt, was a southerner born in Connecticut, but raised in Cobb County, Georgia in the 1800s.
“I don’t know if you all think this way, but who lived in South Carolina in 1700 and in Georgia in 1800? The people who lived out in Dorchester. I found out her maiden name was Stewart ... this land we’re standing on now was owned by James Stewart.”
In addition, West disclosed that (James) Stewart — a relative of Martha’s from the previous century — most likely was the proprietor of property that would serve as the future location of the Pine Forest Inn in Summerville.
The site of the Pine Forest Inn was situated on 60 acres of land near the present-day Roosevelt Square that is generally bounded by Simmons Avenue, Salisbury Drive, Marion Avenue and Gaillard Lane.
The limited-edition book copies were distributed among sponsor reps at the anniversary event that was also attended by museum executive officers and directors, including: Vice President Pam Giesick, Kenneth Battle, Danny Hughes, Janet Sussman and Michael Sussman, among others.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in conjunction with the Town of Summerville and the Dorchester County Transportation Authority (DCTA) continues work on the 3rd phase of the Berlin G. Myers Project.
A temporary 3-day, 72-hour closure of the Sawmill Branch Walk/Bike Trail between Luden Drive and the pedestrian bridge at Willet Drive (shown in red on the map below) will be required between Monday, February 20, 2023, and Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Construction crews will be working on crossline drainage pipes beneath the existing trail and constructing a small section of detour trail near Luden Drive.
Variable message boards will be placed at either end of the trail to give advanced warning of the closure to pedestrians. The trail from Luden Drive to Crosscreek Drive and from Willet Drive to East Richardson Avenue will remain open and may still be used (shown in green on the map below).
The safety of the traveling public is of the utmost concern. Construction crews will work diligently to complete this work and reopen the trail for the Town’s recreational use as quickly as possible.