Outlining Plans to Purchase a Home in 2017

David MantekThe crisp, new year has sparked a fresh interest in homeownership for many. Rather than penning a long list of untouched resolutions for the new year, many have set their sights on property ownership.

Real estate investment takes a great commitment. Switching gears, and transitioning from renting to buying is a mental and financial endeavor that begs for preparedness. Arming oneself with knowledge is the best way to approach and address the daunting process.

Beyond everything, known how much of a loan you qualify for. Often, potential buyers don’t know that they should be well aware of the loan-to-value ratio when calculating how much they can afford. A high loan-to-value ratio could negatively impact price. Also, it could lead to added expenses, with regards to private mortgage insurance.

Debt-to-income ratio knowledge is valuable and essential when determining if the monthly mortgage payment can be managed. The ratio can be calculated by looking at all monthly expenses (ex. Insurance, taxes, credit cards, etc) and the monthly gross household income. Monthly debt refers only to accounts appearing on the credit report. The debt-to-income ration shouldn’t exceed 43 percent.

Lenders can offer guidance to homebuyers, helping to calculate monthly and upfront expenses. They can also recommend mortgage options that will aid in alleviating costs associated with purchasing a home.

Prepare a budget ahead of consulting a lender. That means addressing property tax rates and preparing for the unknown. A survey conducted by TD Bank’s First-Time Homebuyer Pulse Surveys communicated that 17 percent of first-time buyers don’t set aside money for unexpected costs and repairs. That extra cash can make all the difference.

Your credit score is important. There are countless other important factors when comes to finding and securing a home, but you have to be able to qualify for a loan, which requires an appropriate credit score. All accounts under your name should be accurate, and if it isn’t, address this immediately because changes to your credit score can take months to fix. Consider the number of accounts that you’re opening and closing. Likewise, consider your credit card payments, those student loans, and your cell phone bill, all of which can affect your credit score.  

Learn more about owning a home in 2017 by reading “6 Things You Need To Know If You Plan To Buy Your First Home In 2017,” which was recently published on Forbes.

That article masterfully addresses how the important things one needs to know when seeking out their dream home in the new year. For instance, mortgage rates have inflated since Trump took the oval. Also, the article touches upon the fact that couples aren’t the only ones presently interested in buying a home; metropolitan areas are still your best bet when searching for investment property, and you should save enough for that down payment. Additionally, the article addresses the fact that your entire financial framework will affect your potential mortgage rate and you should seek out at least two realtors and mortgage lenders when you’re searching for guidance.

Beauty & Tech: Pretty Streets App Exposes Beautiful Walking Routes

South Carolina for Beginners- 10 Things to See When in South Carolina - David MantekThe ‘Pretty Streets’ app is a nomadic and remarkable tool that offers city slickers and urban explorers an opportunity to seek out beautiful walking routes.

The mobile application judges which urban streets offer the best itineraries for city explorers, helping them to unearth a city’s best-key secrets. Rather than exposing the shortest route, the route planner unique offers sidewalk warriors the most enjoyable path to a destination. The platform prides itself in its ability to transform any walk into a delightful stroll, as well as an ability to revolutionize the way we walk through numerous breakthrough innovations. These innovative efforts include the capacity to suggest looping itineraries, which adapts to your time availability. As well as the possibility of designing simple A-to-B walking tour itineraries.

Advanced technology and community contribution collaborate for the purpose of identifying and mapping the most beautiful places in the world. The algorithm applied to the ‘pretty streets finder’ manages to analyze and synthesize geo-located urban data. Information is gathered from ships, city maps, geo-located pictures, monuments, terraces, leafy streets, and/or road traffic. Amateur photographers and city walkers can manually highlight well-ranked pretty streets, secret places, and monuments.

Currently, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Paris, Dublin, and San Francisco are featured on the app, but Pretty Streets intends to add new cities on a weekly basis, which means that one day, the app will feature one of the countless beautiful destinations in South Carolina, including Charleston, Columbia, Kiawah Island, Kershaw, Greenville, Hilton Head, Hunting Island, Ehrhardt, and Sumter. More than that, there are 60 audio stories available in Paris, which spices up any given city walk. Lovers of Paris are able to drink down dozens of historical stories, including focusing on the first ever recorded car attack, the liberation of Paris, the fake countess serial killer, and other incredible adventures.  

The technology was developed by former and current students of the EPITA school of computer science and information technology. The two co-founders Fabrice Gibelin and Benoît Germond launched the app because of a need to offer a valuable global map that documents and lists beautiful places.

Below, learn the names of some the incredible places that you’ll likely stumble across when the Pretty Streets app finally comes to South Carolina:

St. Johns Island, South Carolina: John’s Island is the largest island in South Carolina. There, you’ll find Johns Island Presbyterian Church, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, the Battle of Charleston Reenactment, and Angel Oak. Angel Oak is a live Southern live oak tree that’s approximately 400 to 1500 years old. The measurement of the tree is 65 ft tall, with a trunk circumference of 25.5 ft.

The Battery is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and it’s a landmark defensive seawall and promenade. The historical destination spans the length of the Charleston peninsula. The tourist destination is attractive because of antebellum homes, and structural entities.

“The Busted Plug Plaza” is located in Columbia, SC, and it’s an installation designed by artist Blue Sky. Known as the world’s largest fire hydrant. The piece of art is nearly 40 feet tall, it weighs 675,000 pounds, and purportedly can survive a direct hit by a tornado, according to some publications.

To learn more about beautiful places located in South Carolina, stay tuned!

Startup Creates Scrutinizing Rental App, Naborly, a Promising Answer to Landlords’ Prayers

rental-application-mobile-1With the real estate market flaring up to meet the countless needs of those it services, landlords are choosing to use a new digital tool in order to curb the number of applications they receive. Naborly, a new startup and mobile rental app, is here to ease that process for landlords and property owners.

Naborly is able to analyze up to 500 data points on potential renters. The method for screening tenants allows potential landlords to scour everything from Facebook profiles to employment history, warning landlords against those struggling to pay their rent and other red flags. Toronto-based Dylan Lenz founded Naborly and was encouraged to do so after traveling to India with his wife in 2014. Ahead of travel, they rented out their property reckless tenants, who caused $22,000 in damages. There were giant trucks of garbage on the property and the basement was flooded.

The unique app allows landlords to create custom tenant applications, which will collect information. Beyond credit scores, the app employs an algorithm that analyzes data and shares a score that allows landlords to read potential risks.

Naborly, to date, has processed more than 500,000 rental units in Canada and the U.S. There are two sides to the ‘Naborly’ coin: leasing with a horrible tenant can be detrimental for a landlord and tenants find that apartment searches can be a blood sport. For that reason alone, article after has been written about the nature of the apartment search, as well as how to access no-fee apartments.

Motherboard reports that the Bank of Montreal recently published a report, which indicated that 60 percent of Millennials surveyed voiced weariness about their rent, and 70 percent or so communicated a willingness to delay buying a home until they could afford it, opting to continue to rent in the meanwhile. This has caused landlords to become overwhelmed by applicants and applications; this is even the case for the shoebox-sized space regulated to the corner of a chilly basement.

An improved system for assessing tenants and reviewing credentials includes software that scours social media, verifies identity, reveal truths, and reviews macroeconomic trends. The Naborly screening process should make securing a tenant and an apartment easier. The app promises to level the playing field, and newbie landlords managed the lengthy process of finding the perfect tenant.

South Carolina Real Estate Agent Capitalizes On Presidential Frustrations

CoYkuCVW8AAbgBgSouth Carolina real estate agent Jeff Cook is now capitalizing on the frustration of Charleston citizens over the limited choices when it comes to presidential candidates with interesting, unique billboard.

His signs along Interstate 26 displays pictures of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. The question, “Moving to Canada?” along with the accompanying phrase, “We can sell your home,” was placed on the billboard.

“We do a lot of billboard’s that are funny, but this is the first time we’ve done something with a political spin,” Cook said, according to FOX 46 Charlotte. “What we wanted to do was create something bipartisan that people could laugh about.”

There are eight signs that Cook has created, and each sign has attracted attention. However, attention isn’t the only goal; he understand that for some the election isn’t a laughing matter.

“A small percentage of people have called in upset, but overall people seem to be getting a laugh. It’ been amazing,” said Cook communicated to FOX 46 business was on the incline. “It’s not so much people wanting to move to Canada as it is people just wanting to sell or buy a new home.”

Jeff Cook’s picture of the sign, which was featured on his Jeff Cook Real Estate Facebook page, was shared more than 9,000.

Commercial Real Estate Executives Are Optimistic About the State of the Market in 2016

real-estate-325285_960_720Commercial real estate executives are apparently optimistic about the state of the market in 2016, and many are predicting greater deal volumes for their firms. The influx of commercial real estate (CRE) tech companies are revolutionizing the industry due to the adoption of new technology. The U.S. CRE market is recovering, but executive recognizes that there are still certain segments are positioned for a significant decline.

Forbes Insights report, “CIT Commercial Real Estate Outlook: Key Findings,” was sponsored by CIT and offered insights about current trends, challenges, and the outlook for the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry. The Forbes Insight report was conducted online between Feb. 12 and March 14, 2016, and 201 senior executives from CRE management companies, brokers, investors, financing executives, and attorneys were surveyed.

Approximately 53 percent of respondents indicated their segment of the market is either strong or very strong. Forty-four percent of executive surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that certain segments are poised for significant decline. Also, forty-seven percent of total respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the U.S. CRE markets are in recovery.

More than 60 percent of executives surveyed described their current market posture as optimistic. They described today’s market conditions as having a smorgasbord of opportunities and challenges. Upon reflecting upon the economy, executives have seen consumer confidence, interest rates, unemployment, U.S. tax rates, and the global economy, which are the five factors driving CRE investment. They also expressed moderate support for the government’s role in stabilizing the nation’s economy.  Approximately 48 percent believe a Republican win in the U.S. presidential elections would positively impact sectors where they’re currently actively.

The benefits of commercial real estate technology are fairly clear, and most executives agree that advancements are revolutionizing the industry. However, adoption is slow for many, and only 11 percent of respondents rated themselves as “leading edge,” with regards to implementation. Most respondents believe the stakes are higher and they struggle with the success of tech-enabled entrants into the industry and commercial real estate investments.

Approximately 71 percent of companies said adequate capital is available for investment and 24 percent say capital is available for “the right” deals. Slightly more than half of respondents said they were lengthening the duration of their financing in an effort to secure today’s relatively low rates over a longer period.  Emerging rules mandated that low-income housing is integrated with the affluent housing, delivering mixed results.

Charleston, South Carolina Clears $1 Billion in Commercial Real Estate Sales

BroadStreetCharlestonCharleston, South Carolina is a popular place along the east coast and voted one of the best places to live in the United States in 2014. With its 90 miles of beautiful coastline, vibrant culture, delicious foods and family-friendly atmosphere, it’s no surprise why this city had a breakthrough surpassing $1 billion in commercial real estate sales for the first time.

A smaller, yet stable market, Charleston, SC is seen by real estate investors as a place that is poised for continued growth. With its relation to the Atlantic ocean and reputation as a tourist destination, these factors alone are what make this city so desirable. A secondary signal and one that is very important are the effects and impacts of major American brands like Boeing and Mercedes-Benz opening new production plants. These companies aren’t opening small plants, these are expensive, massive operations that create jobs and opportunities to the surrounding areas. To provide you with specific numbers, Boeing’s Dreamliner plant has offered thousands of jobs since it opened back in 2011 while the Mercedes-Benz production plant for the next-generation Sprinter commercial van is expected to create 1,300 jobs.

So what does this all mean? Charleston, SC is on the map and becoming more recognizable outside of the beautiful coastal city it has been for so long. There are more demands for housing and jobs, and the city’s population is increasing as a whole, which triggers outside real estate investors to come in and purchase properties. According to a report by Colliers International, “there’s a growing demand for rental units and the consequent rise in occupancy and rental rates are driving investment in this segment.” These signs, coupled with a city that’s fundamentally robust, are good signs for continued growth for years to come.


David Mantek Joins Coldwell Banker


David MantekDavid Mantek has joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic as a broker specializing in retail and investment properties. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Central Michigan University. Mantek has worked as a real estate investor for the past 21 years. – See more at: http://www.charlestonchamber.net/david-mantek-joins-coldwell-banker-commercial-atlantic/#sthash.9KplyZ4j.dpuf

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“The Coldwell Banker brand is the oldest and most established residential real estate franchise system in North America. In fact, in many ways it was the original real estate “start up.” Founded by young entrepreneurs Colbert Coldwell in 1906 and later Benjamin Banker, Coldwell Banker changed the way people bought and sold homes across America, ultimately becoming one of the most trusted real estate brands in the world. More than 100 years later, the Coldwell Banker network is still continuously recognized for its innovation and leadership across 3,000 offices in 49 countries and territories.”

Charleston’s Greatest Museums

Charleston, South Carolina is one of Americas most hidden historic cities. The city is filled with rich culture and military culture. Charleston’s past lays in its various museums. According to the Travel Channel, these are the Top 5!

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum

Founded in 1773, The Charleston museum is also titled “America’s First Museum.” If you take a look at Charleston’s museum mile, Charleston museum marks the beginning of a long line of Charleston’s history through art. Museum mile exists along Meeting Street where visitors get to enjoy the hundreds of artifacts defining Charleston’s agricultural and historical past. The museum also has some pretty awesome hands-on exhibits allowing visitors to examine cultivation tools and sweetgrass baskets that slaves used to harvest and cull rice in the fields. The museum also owns 2 historic houses, The Heyward-Washington House And Joseph Manigault House.

Gibbes Museum of Art

Gibbes Museum of Art

“Museum Mile” should have included the Gibbes Museum of Art. The art museum holds an intricate collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art. The artwork is taken from eras including the Charleston Renaissance.

Karpeles Manuscript Museum

Karpeles Manuscript Museum

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum hold the worlds largest collection of historic manuscripts. The museum was originally a methodist church, the structure also served as a hospital mid Civil War. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum is sponsored by philanthropist David Karpeles, who also funds 7 other document repositories nationwide.  The museum interchanges exhibits regularly, so visit the website to find out what’s on view in order to plan your visit!

American LaFrance Fire Museum

American LaFrance Fire Museum

North Charleston holds the nation’s greatest collection of American LaFrance firefighting trucks, all admiringly restored. The museum contains shiny engines and horse-drawn fire wagons providing visitors with a lesson in America’s firefighting history. But don’t worry, the experience doesn’t stop there. There are also interactive exhibits! You’re able to lift the 00 pounds of equipment a firefighter wears on the job, while testing your knowledge of firefighting tools. The museum is also family fun! Children can climb a real firefighter’s ladder and slide down the fire pole on a large, indoor play set. Visit the site and plan a trip for the kids!

South Carolina Historical Society’s Collection Has A New Home

David Mantek - Fireproof BuildingThe South Carolina Historical Society (SCHS) is a non-profit founded in 1855 is the state’s largest and oldest archive of documents preserving South Carolina’s rich history. Its staggering collection of approximately 2 million documents has called the Fireproof Building in Charleston, South Carolina its home for almost a century.

Completed in 1827, the state of the art  fireproof structure was the first of its kind designed by Robert Mills solely for the purpose of housing and protecting public records. After all these years, the SCHS is moving its mounds of documents to a new home, about a mile away in the campus of College of Charleston.

The Fireproof Building, also known as the County Records Building, located in 100 Meeting Street is  is now being slowly emptied of its ancient collection and by late February will be unveiled in College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library. This move was brought on by two conflicting objectives of the Historical Society: to preserve the documents and to preserve the historical building and finally, the Society decided to move the archives from their longtime home.

It is estimated that shift will be completed by January 12 and the records, now being boxed up, are inaccessible till then.

Robert Mills, the famous designer of the Washington Monument and the U.S Treasury Building, designed the Fireproof Building in 1822. It was a revolutionary structure for its time with a combination of brick, brownstone and stucco making in inflammable, earning it the title of the ‘Fireproof Building.’ The building also has plenty of windows, flooding the rooms with ample natural light and reducing the use of candles.

The South Carolina Historical Society, however, did not begin leasing it until 1955 and moved completely in 1968.  John Tucker, SCHS’s Assistant Director, says that the Addlestone Library is a better choice in today’s time, providing advance climate and temperature controlled structure of the historical documents.

No document has mildewed yet in the Fireproof Building, but ideally the humidity levels for such documents should be in the range of 40-55, while its around 80 in the Fireproof Building and the Society’s Director of Archives and Research, Mary Jo Fairchild, recommends moving before the humidity level affects the documents.

Moreover, space issues in the old Fireproof Building necessitated the move as much as the humidity levels and the newly-renovated Addlestone Library, which opened in 2004, provides a solution for both of these issues.

After February, the library will become one of the major research libraries in South Carolina’s history, Southern history and Atlantic world history. The Society will retain ownership of the documents and will keep its office and other artifacts in the Fireproof Building.

The Society also has ambitious intentions for the Fireproof Building, with plans to turn in museum-like in motion. For full article on South Carolina Historical Society’s renovation and relocation plans, click here.

What to do in Charleston

We know that Charleston is the friendliest city in the country.  But what else does this place have to offer?

Quite a lot actually.  No matter where you came from in the United States it is likely you’ll find something to love about Charleston.  A recent Huffington Post article talked about some of the best places for you to visit while in the city.

davidmantek_whattodoKnown for its food, Charleston evinces some of the best dishes in the country.  The south is plentiful with fantastic ingredients and more and more the chefs of Charleston are putting those fresh finds on the plate in a delicious way.

The article suggests to swing on over to Butcher and Bee when you’re in the city to get a hold of a double cheeseburger that is to die for.  Butcher and Bee has all of the classics you could expect but they are put out in a gourmet fashion and the results are amazing.  Also on the menu you’ll find fried chicken, another southern staple, sausages and Carolina Trout among others.

After loading up at Butcher and Bee, why not find a place to take a rest and maybe curl up with a good book while you’re at it?  Head on over to Blue Bicycle Books, a boutique book store that the article states is a place, “will make you wish every day was a rainy one so you could explore the store for hours and curl up in a comfy chair.”

If books aren’t your thing why not check out some of the city’s shops?  Some recommendations would be Library by Lauren Lail where you can find vintage pieces with a modern spin.  Or you could head to Dandy for a similar style complete with a custom styled head piece.

As previously mentioned, there is something for everyone in Charleston and you don’t even have to look very hard to find it.