Home Equity Can Be Your Best Investment

patriotic home


The stock market has been especially turbulent these days and it takes a strong stomach (and maybe a strong adult beverage!) to weather this economic roller coaster.  While most financial planners agree that it is best to diversify your portfolio, almost all will agree that for many people home ownership is the foundation of their wealth.  

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

When delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook.

All About Home Equity

Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the cost of your home, the value of your home equity is this total amount. Of course, because most people seek a lender to borrow money from when they purchase a home, their home equity would consist of their down payment and whatever amount they’ve paid down on the mortgage since purchase.

person at home

An Example Of Home Equity

To provide further clarification, let’s use the example of a house that has been purchased for $300,000. In the case that a down payment of 20% has been provided at the time of purchase, the equity in the home would be $60,000. Since this amount is the percentage and cost of the house that’s been paid down, this is the amount of the house that is actually owned and this will be figured among an individual’s assets.

How Home Equity Works


As you pay the amount that you owe on your home each month, you are paying off your total debt and thereby increasing your equity. Since this amount of money is considered an asset that belongs to you, it can be used down the road to buy another home or invest in other important things like education or retirement. While paying off the amount owed on a home is a considerable investment, if the value of your home increases, this means that you’ll still owe the same on it but your home equity will have automatically increased.

“Home equity can increase over time if the property value increases or the loan balance is paid down.”

As an asset that is part of your financial net worth and can be used down the road to fund other investments, home equity is a very useful term to know when it comes to purchasing a home.  You will want to discuss various homes and areas with your realtor when making a decision between homes.  While of course no one has a crystal ball, your realtor should be able to provide you with a market analysis of towns and even subdivisions to assist you in determining  historical trends in property increases.   T.hey may also be able to provide you with market insight as to other factors impacting positively or negatively on future increases.  For instance in our area we have had substantial manufacturing growth in the Summerville/North Charleston area which has already had an impact on the housing market.


If you’re on the market to buy or sell a home and are considering your options,  please contact me at 843-471-7315 or at ShawnPhillipsSellsCharleston@gmail.com .  I can assist you in the Low Country of South Carolina – Charleston,  Berkeley,  Dorchester and Colleton areas.  Live somewhere else?  I can also help you find a wonderful realtor in your area.


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If These Walls Could Talk

If walls could talk As a realtor I am in other people’s homes up to 50 times a week.  Behind every front door is a private world.  Sometimes it is a sad, desperate world and sensitive people tell me they feel the negative energies as if house itself has absorbed them.  A couple of times I would agree that something seemed off, only to find out later that members of the previous family suffered from substance abuse, cruelty, or a horribly dysfunctional relationship.   It wasn’t just my imagination. All I can say is the home could be wonderful in every material manner, but I not get out of there fast enough.

Ecology house in handsConversely, I am convinced there are “happy family” homes.  These homes seem to exude love and joy.  I began to wonder if there were ways to rid the home of the bad feelings, so they could be infused with peace and gladness.



Don’t buy into all of this? Whether or not one feels the need to cleanse a home of these energies, buyers frequently have rituals that make their new home their own.  For instance, women frequently wash the inside of all cabinets even if they appear spotless. Others want to immediately paint even if it is only the front door.  Adding plants outside and inside is another common change.  I love to burn essential oil scented candles.

Cultures throughout the world and through time have found ways to make a new home their own.  Here are some common ones I’ve seen used.

  • Smudging with sage – taken from Native American cultures, this consists of burning sage and wafting the smoke in all corners and crevices of the inside of the home. The smell of sage seems to clarify the mind, aid in relaxing, and it has been used to create sacred space.



  • Fresh air – an age-old way is to open all the windows and doors.  Let fresh air and sunlight in.



  • Salt water – some of my Catholic friends make their own version of holy water. They put sea salt in water and pray over the saline solution, then spray a mist in the air all over the house. Salt water is a long-used cleanser.


  • Essential oils – others fill their saline spray with essential oils such as lemon, lavender, sage, rosemary, rose, sweet orange. These scents have antibacterial and antiviral qualities and are known to clear the air and the energy of the home while delighting the senses.


  • Saffron and incense – Tibetans believe the scent of saffron wards away evil spirits and incense made of frankincense, myrrh, and benzoin have been used for centuries to purify space.


  • Salt lamp – Salt lamps are known to clear air and are also said to clean negativity from a space.

salt lamp

  • Sound – some people chant or sing, others believe in clapping, still others have a favorite music piece.  Better yet, why not dance?


  • Living indoor plants – again traditional in many cultures, plants such as lucky bamboo, rosemary, aloe vera, money plant, sage, holy basis, orchid, peace lily and jasmine add beauty, freshen the air, and boost positivity.


  • Crystals – people often place crystals in the middle of a room to repel negativity outward. Crystals such as black tourmaline, hematite, black onyx, amethyst, apache tear and smoky quartz are used by many, but I believe you can also choose something that appeals to you.


  • Feng Shui – a Chinese system of creating harmony in a home. It is a way to create a spatial arrangement that improves energy. It is complicated, but it embodies many elements such as decluttering the space, opening the rooms to air and sunshine, defining the best areas for money, love, spiritual health, physical health, and always being mindful of the quality of energy in your home.

feng sui



Portrait of happy family with two children sitting on sofa

For the sake of brevity, I have not gone into detail about any of these methods. Each can be explored extensively.  I encourage you to try out those that appeal to you and let me know if you feel the energy of your home improves.


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Charleston Happenings in January 2018


January is here and it is cold!!  January and February are usually the coldest months in Charleston.  But we know that spring is just around the corner.  Of course, there are some great things to do inside in Charleston during January.  Restaurant Week, Stanley Kubrick Film Festival, Jazz Festival, and Shen Yun should keep your mind off the cold. 

Here is your January calendar of events:

1/4: Travis Tritt, Chas Music Hall

1/5: Henry Rollins, Chas Music Hall

1/5,6: Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s(CSO) Brahms’ Symphony #2, Gaillard

1/7: Chamber Music with violinist Karen Kim, Dock Street Theatre

1/9: River Dance 20th Anniversary World Tour, Gaillard


1/10-21: Charleston Restaurant Week

1/10,11: Charleston Health and Wellness Expo, Gaillard

1/12: Charleston Magic Parlor Dinner Theatre, 82 Queen

1/13,14: Beginner’s Beekeeping course, Gazes Auditorium MUSC

1/17: Dr Strangelove, Chas Music Hall

1/18: Nnenna Freelon, Chas Music Hall

1/18-21: Charleston Jazz Festivalcharleston-jazz-fest

1/18: CSO Gershwin and Bernstein Take New York, Gaillard

1/19: The 5 Browns, Gaillard

1/23: They Might be Giants, Chas Music Hall

1/23,24: Shen Yun, N Chas PAC

1/25: A Clockwork Orange, Chas Music Hall

1/25: Pink Martini, Gaillard

1/26: Del McCoury Band, Chas Music Hall

1/26: A Night in the Valley, 15th Annual Dinner and Auction, Trident Tech Culinary Institute

1/27: John Mulaney-Kid Gorgeous, Gaillard

1/28: Charleston Trees Oyster Roast, Lowndes Grove

1/28: Cabaret, Gaillard

1/28: Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Boone Hall

1/31: The Shining, Chas Music Hall

Charleston is doing so well.  This will likely be the busiest year ever for Charleston real estate with close to 18k transactions.  Median sales price is up 4.3% over 2016 at an all time high of $255k.  Goose Creek and Summerville are really taking off with the building of the new Volvo Plant.  Folly Beach just got a boost from Trip Advisor.  It was named to the Most Charming East Coast Beach Vacations list.  Mercedes is building a new plant for its Sprinter van here in Charleston.  Thermo King, a temperature control and refrigeration systems manufacturer will open a new plant in Berkeley County to supply the new Mercedes plant.  Cypress Creek Renewables is building a $115M, 75MW solar facility in Orangeburg Country.  CARTA has installed a bus shelter at the airport to handle the ever increasing passenger load.  Deytens Shipyard has received a $7.8M contract to service the USNS Big Horn.  Heatworks will create 60 jobs when it moves its tankless water heater facility to a larger plant in Mt Pleasant.  Welcomemat Services has ranked Mt P the 6th best place for small businesses of the 375 neighborhoods it researched.  The SC Dept of Commerce has established a $2M aerospace endowment at USC’s College of Engineering and Computing to enhance the college’s partnership with Boeing here in Charleston.  It may be cold outside, but Charleston is on fire!

Interested in buying, selling or investing in our HOT real estate market?  Contact me at 843-471-7315 or ShawnPhillipsSellsCharleston@gmail.com .  You can also get current information about properties at ShawnPhillips.valuedagent.com .



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Charleston Happenings in November 2017

Carolina FairNovember brings the Carolina Fair to Charleston and cooler weather always comes when the fair comes.  It’s nice to wipe out that humidity of the summer finally.  And there will be oyster roasts aplenty.  November brings Thanksgiving and the holiday season opens with the Holiday Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park.  Here is your November calendar of events:

1-5: Carolina Fair, Ladson

3: 13th Annual Oyster Roast, Friends of the Hunley, Bus Shed

4: Rockabillique, Park Circle

4: Citadel football vs Western Carolina

4: 16th Annual Harvest Festival, Johns Island County Park

4: 6th Annual Lowcountry Hoedown, Bus Shed

4: Kiawah Symphony Tour of Homes

4: Charleston Mac Off, Grove at Patriot’s Point

5: 4th Annual Charleston Coffee Cup, Memminger Auditorium

5: Charleston Horticultural Society’s 2nd Annual Oyster Roast, McLeod Plantation

8-14: Charleston Burger Week

9: Joshua Bell, Gaillard

10: Veteran’s Day

10-1: 28th Holiday Festival of Lights, James Island County Park

11: 1st Annual Shine on Shindig, Bowens Island

10-11: 6th Annual Smoke on the Harbor BBQ Throwdown, Charleston Harbor Resort

12: Wine, Women, and Shoes, Daniel Island Club

12: Steeplechase of Charleston, Stono Ferry

18: 18th Annual Charleston Animal Society Chili Cook Off and Oyster Roast, Riverfront Park

21: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Gaillard

23: 40th

Annual Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble

23: Thanksgiving


Our real estate market continues to perform well.  Year to date, we are up 3.3% over the same period from 2016 in number of transactions.  We may possibly sell over 18,000 homes for the first time in history in 2017.  A few MLS areas are actually down in sales numbers simply due to lack of inventory.  No one wants to leave!!  Year to date, we are up 4.1% in median sales price over the same period from 2016.  Median sales price is now around $254k.  There are a few specific MLS areas, like James Island, where median sales price is up over 10% over 2016 prices.  New construction abounds all over the tri-county area.  Johns Island and Summerville and Goose Creek have a lot of new construction.


Five SC schools received Blue Ribbon status this year, and two are here in the Lowcountry.  Buist Academy for Advanced Studies and Palmetto Scholars Academy were recognized.  The College of Charleston is not only the most beautiful campus in the US (as recognized by Travel & Leisure) but has another great ranking.  Best Computer Science Schools Digital ranked the Top 35 Best Schools for Big Data Degrees in 2017. College of Charleston ranked #5!!

Coastal_Lifestyle_31 (3)

Interested in relocating to the Low Country?  There’s always so much to see and do!




Contact me if you are looking to buy, sell or invest in property.  The Coastal Lifestyle Property team covers a large area from Summerville to Edisto to Johns Island to Mt Pleasant to Folly Beach.  We can help you find the perfect area for your budget and interests!  Call us at 843-471-7315 or email me at ShawnPhillipsSellsCharleston@gmail.com.

Warm regards,


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Autumn in Charleston, SC




Fall is finally here and the temps are starting to get really nice. Everything in October is pumpkin this and pumpkin that, so make sure you go to the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch. Here is your October calendar of events:



October 1-6: 34th Annual MOJA Festival
1: Oktoberfest, MUSC Health Stadium
1: 15th Annual Scrumptious Summerville Kitchen Tour
1: Taj-Mo, Gaillard
4-8: 34th Annual Alan Fleming Senior Open Clay Court State Tennis Championship, Seabrook

Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament

4: 5th Annual Big Lebowski Bash, The Alley
5: 41st Annual Fall Tour of Homes
5: Thomas Rhett, N Chas Coliseum
6: Artwalk, downtown
7: Broadway Under the Stars, Volvo Stadium
7: Bay St Biergarten’s Oktoberfest
8: Boil and Boat Party, Morris Island
11-15: Disney’s Frozen, N Charleston Coliseum
13-15: That Big Book Sale, Omar Shrine Auditorium Mt Pleasant
15: 30th Annual Town of Mt P’s Children’s Day Festival, Park West Rec
15: 26th Annual Latin American Festival, Wannamaker Park

rainbow row

18: Herbie Hancock, Gaillard
21: 10th Annual Follypalooza Festival, Center St Folly Beach
21: Third Blind Eye, Volvo Stadium
22: Darius Rucker, Volvo Stadium
26-11/5: Coastal County Fair, Ladson Fairgrounds
28: Pethelpers Fur Ball, Charleston Marriott


In automotive news, Volvo has announced it will double their initial $500 million investment and add an additional 1,900 to its original 2,000 employment estimate. The 1,600 acre Ridgeville plant will produce the company’s S60 sedan. The Governor says we’re in the running for the new Toyota-Mazda plant, along with 10 other states. The collaboration will require 1,000 acres, 2 assembly lines, and 4,000 workers to produce 300K vehicles each year. The $1.6B plant would open in 2021 building a crossover for Mazda and the Corolla for Toyota, both for the US market.

volvo plant.jpg

The Citadel was named the South’s #1 public college. The College of Charleston (voted the most beautiful campus in the country by Travel and Leisure) was not far behind at #5. College of Charleston was also tied for #2 college in the south for undergrad teaching, according to US News and World Report. Researchers from 10 SC universities, including the College of Charleston and the Medical University of SC, have been awarded a $20M, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Charleston tech community created almost ten thousand jobs in the year ending 5/16.

With all this going on, you are certainly right in thinking that our real estate market is very, very strong. We will probably sell over 18,000 homes this year for an all time record. Median sales price is over $250,000.

New construction abounds all over the tri-county area, but especially in the area near the new Volvo plant.  Lots of investors are buying up rental properties and the rental market is very strong as well.

Looking to buy, sell or invest in the Charleston area?  The Coastal Lifestyle Property team are professionals who can make your dreams come true.  Contact us at 843-471-7315 or at ShawnPhillipsSellsCharleston@gmail.com .   We pride ourselves on treating every client as if they are our only client!

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Open Concept, Freshly Updated in Ladson

302 Breckingridge Drive, Ladson, SC

August 20, Sunday 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 3 (2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 2521 SQUARE FEET

This cozy home is conveniently close to all of the amenities of life. It has been lovingly maintained and cared for over the years. From the beautiful landscaping, to the spacious interior and generous rooms, to the updated kitchen, this lovely home is upscale suburban at its best. Imagine yourself as the next caretaker of this charming You are buying a lifestyle, not just a home in the highly desirable Summer Park Community.

Freshly updated.The open floor plan will work for the most discerning buyer, featuring a large formal dining room, breakfast bar and cozy eat in kitchen with tranquil views of the backyard oasis with no houses behind the property. There is a large family room with wood burning and/or gas fireplace, tiled screened porch with 18′ patio to enjoy the low country lifestyle. Bonus room is large enough for an office, media room or even a 4th bedroom. The open kitchen is a chef’s delight with silestone solid surface counter tops, marble backsplash, staggered 42” maple cabinets with crown moulding, and high end appliances including a GAS range.

Kitchen includes a 9″ single basin sink and recessed lights. Master bedroom on ground floor. 2 bedrooms and a loft that could be converted to 4th bedroom on 2nd floor. Downstairs features gleaming wood floors and Italian porcelain tile, an open floor plan with a formal dining room, eat in kitchen, and family room, master suite, laundry room and powder room.Charming backyard with a privacy fence. Additional flourishes include moulding around all windows and doors, upgraded lighting and fans. The huge first floor master suite] offers views to the private wooded back yard. The deluxe master bath offers a garden tub and separate shower with dual raised vanities and the master closet is upgraded with a California Closet system! Upstairs features 2 additional bedrooms, floored walk-in attic space, a large loft and bonus room. The upgrades are endless and include crown molding throughout the ENTIRE home and finger trim molding around all the windows in the main living areas. The light fixtures and ceiling fans throughout are designer upgrades. There is 2″ plantation blinds throughout and a security system for your peace of mind. Immaculate 2 car garage with epoxy floor. This truly is a must see, the words or pictures won’t capture the beauty, livability or elegance this home offers.

Presented By:

Shawn Phillips

Keller Williams Charleston West Ashley
Licensed In: South Carolina
License #: 95923

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No Down Payment Mortgages for Doctors and Dentists

Physicians & Dentists – Years of hard work and commitment in your search for a new home. a no down payment mortgage is available.

Source: No Down Payment Mortgages for Doctors and Dentists

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No Down Payment Mortgages for Doctors and Dentists

doctors1.jpgAs a former hospital administrator I am very aware of the challenges licensed medical professionals have in financing their home.  Many physicians and dentists graduate with several thousands (hundreds of thousands sometimes!) of debt and find it difficult to raise the down payment needed in order to both grown their practice and purchase a home.  That’s why I was so excited to be able to partner with Sun Trust Mortgage.

Sun Trust Mortgage provides a fantastic option –  financing up to 100%  with no mortgage insurance on primary home loan amounts up to $750,000 for physicians who are still in their internship, residency, and fellowship programs in MD and DO programs or for physicians who are within ten years of completion of their residency or fellowship training.  Interested in a larger loan?  They have financing of up to 95% up to $1,000,000 and 89.99% on loans up to $1,500,000.

Because it is common in our Charleston market for sellers to assist with closing costs, it may be possible for a doctor to purchase a home with no money out of pocket, and to wind up paying less on your mortgage payment than you do for rent.

Just like any mortgage loan, you will be asked to prove your income, assets, and creditworthiness.

Contact me today at 843-471-7315 or Shawn.Phillips@kw.com  and I’ll work with you and a doctor-loan specialist to get you pre-approved.  It is possible to close on your house up to two months before starting your position – so if you begin July 1, you may close in either May or June.

Curious about homes in this Charleston area?  Find Homes

I look forward to earning your business!

Warm regards,


p.s. Not buying in the Charleston area?  This program is available in a number of southeastern states and I can help you find an excellent Realtor.


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Relocating to the Charleston Area?

Thinking of relocating to the Charleston area? Let me help you find the perfect home. Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315

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Downsizing Can Be Rightsizing


Realtors are seeing a new trend.  Instead of gravitating to large homes, people of all ages are starting to embrace a less is more attitude.  Downsizing is no longer relegated to seniors as young families are shying away from the mini-mansion craze and are starting to look for a cozy, smaller home.  Many are drawn to neighborhoods where homes are closer together and have front porches where one can sit and visit with neighbors passing by.


Rightsizing is a better term as it means you don’t have to make sacrifices when moving to a smaller place. In fact, it could mean quite the opposite. A smaller, yet luxurious home in a prestigious community is a smart option. Consider these benefits of a home that is the “right size” for your life:

  • Reduce expenses – mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance
  • Less stress
  • Start afresh
  • Buy new/newer
  • Boost your living/retirement income
  • Have money for adventures
  • Less stuff = less cleaning = more time to enjoy life

cozy family dinner.jpgPeople of all ages are finding that a smaller home that is the rightsized for you and your family means more money in your wallet. Your life is less stressful without paying large amounts in mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. No longer will you have to pay huge utility bills. You may even decide that you no longer need landscapers to maintain your large yard. The decrease in all those expenses will give you more money to enjoy life.

cozy-family-tvMoving into a smaller home encourages people to interact more.  You have more opportunities to sit and talk, play games, or watch TV together. Furthermore many of these smaller homes are in subdivisions with more recreational activities such as walking trails, tennis courts, pools, golf courses, and lakes – all enticing people to enjoy life together inside and out.   Your new home could inspire special bonding opportunities and create many wonderful memories.

cozy family outside.jpg

Looking toward the long term –  purchasing a smaller home is a wise investment. If or when it comes time to sell, your smaller home will appeal to a wider audience of buyers. You can boost the value your right-sized home offers by having it in an ideal location – neighborhood amenities, the ability to walk to stores, or near an attraction such as the beach or waterway.


Of course, the toughest part of rightsizing will be parting ways with stuff that you no longer use or need.  Here are some tips:

  • Access your actual needs – use the one year rule. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.
  • Avoid tackling the whole house in one go – it’s too stressful emotionally and physically. Work on one room at a time.
  • Banish the “maybe” pile. Use the OHIO rule – only handle it once. It’s yes or no.
  • Go through every closet and cabinet
  • If it is chipped, broken or stained – toss it!
  • Determine your new storage needs/eliminate storage
  • Sell your stuff – estate sales, consignment stores, Ebay, Craigslist, etc.
  • Give family treasures away
  • Organize and enjoy

Cozy coastal room.jpgRightsizing is becoming a national trend for many reasons but the most common is to gain quality of life.  By simplifying your life and surroundings of “stuff” you will find you are free to pursue your passions such as hobbies and travel without the responsibilities and financial burden of a large home.  This doesn’t mean you can’t still live in a home that offers luxuries.  Less can be more.


Are you thinking of downsizing or upsizing?   I’m an experienced and knowledgeable realtor who helps people buy and sell homes in the greater Charleston area.  Let’s discuss what makes sense for your family and find your dream home!  Contact me at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or call me at 843-471-7315.

Just looking?  Go to Search for your dream home .

I look forward to earning your business!

Shawn Phillips






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Buying a Home Grows Your Wealth Faster Than Renting


rent-vs-buy-matues-realtyThere can be many downsides to both renting and buying, depending on what side of the coin you are on, but if you’re leaning towards purchasing a home it can have added benefits for your bank account that renting does not. While renting can certainly alleviate many of the costs that go along with property ownership, here’s why purchasing a home can have positive monetary affects in the long run.

First let’s start with the fact it costs more to rent.  In fact according to a recent Trulia article, it costs over 50% more to rent in Charleston than buy:   Trulia article .  While this assumed a 20% down payment, there are a number of mortgage options that allow a homeowner to purchase for less than 4% down.   Mortgage rates are still low (although creeping upward) so this is an excellent time to purchase even if home prices have risen in many areas.

The Good Impacts of Inflation housing-inflation

While inflation is often seen as a dirty word, a real estate purchase can see the positive side of inflation with how your home purchase investment will grow over the years. Putting money into rent will mean that money is gone and out the window once you’ve paid for the month, but investing into a property will come back to you in future gains that are made in the real estate market. While buying a home will be more expensive in the short term, it can also provide you with greater financial flexibility and equity in the future.


Renovations Will Increase Home Value

While changing up the bathroom or the paint on the wall in your apartment isn’t going to add any extra lining to your wallet when you move out, making upgrades to a home that you own will have the very opposite effect! Renovations can certainly be unpopular while they’re taking place, but no matter how small or large, they can mean an easier sell and a higher profit when the home finally goes on the market.  We have a number of deals in the Charleston areas that are “fixer uppers” but the investment pays off significantly.




The Opportunity For Rental Propertyrental-income

An apartment you rent won’t offer opportunity for investment if you’re away from your home for an extended period of time, but a home you own may serve as an ideal investment property at some point in the future. With the success of Airbnb and unique modern housing needs that may only require a home rental for a short period of time, being able to use your house as a rental property can be a significant boon for earning money you would have otherwise been without.  I recently spoke with a young man who averages almost $15,000/month on a property in Charleston through Airbnb!  It may also make sense to purchase a duplex and live in one unit while renting out the other to cover all or a good portion of the mortgage.


Buying a home can require a lot of number crunching in the beginning that rent does not, but it can also provide significant financial benefits down the road that might not exist without such a purchase. If you’re considering purchasing a home in the near future,  contact me –  your local real estate professional for more information at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315.  You may also start looking for your dream home at Shawn-Phillips.kw.com .

I look forward to earning your business!



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Three Handy Home Staging Tips That Will Help You Display Your Home in the Best Light


Your home may be one of your largest assets, and you certainly want to take steps to get the highest price possible for it when you list it on the market to sell. In addition, you may have plans to purchase a new home or to take other similar steps when list your home, so you may need to your house to sell quickly. Staging your home is a great way to present it in the best possible light for potential buyers to see. While there are dozens of staging tips and ideas that you may use, there are a few that are rather simple and affordable for most to complete.

desk-bedroomGive Each Room a Single Purpose

If your home is like most, there may be several rooms that have multiple uses. For example, you may have a work desk placed in the master bedroom, or a section of the living room may be designated as a kids’ play area. While this may be functional for how your family lives and even very attractive, it can confuse buyers.




Buyers need to be able to walk into a room and imagine their own family living in the area. They may not have a need or use for a desk in the master bedroom, and this can confuse the use of the space. In addition, it also can make a room look smaller and more cramped than it is.
De-Clutter Your Rooms
clutter.gifIn addition to defining a single use for each room in your home, you should also de-clutter your rooms. Depending how long you have lived in your home and how significant your periodic spring cleaning sessions have been, this can be a major undertaking and you may need help.. As a good rule of thumb, items that have not been used in more than six months may need to be donated or tossed away. The exception to this rule is seasonal items, like winter coats, pool toys or holiday décor. Keep in mind that buyers may open cabinets, drawers and closets, so your cleaning session should be thorough and not superficial.

Pack Away Personal Belongings

A final step to take is to pack away personal belongings. Everything from religious symbols like crosses to a family photo over the mantel should be packed in boxes. Your goal is to make your home look like any family could live there rather than to make it look like your home. Only decorative items that have a broad or universal appeal should remain.

When a home is properly staged, it may feel as though your home is not your own and even as though you are camping out in your own home. Keep in mind that staging can help you to sell your home as quickly as possible and to get the highest bid possible. It also helps you psychologically as some have a hard time leaving the memories of a home.  Therefore, your effort is well worthwhile.


Interested in learning more about how to stage your home in order for it to sell quickly at the highest price possible?  I can help!  I am an experienced realtor with Keller Williams Realty in the Charleston/Berkeley/Dorchester area.  Contact me at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315.  Just want to check what’s in the area you are interested in?  Click here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!


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Getting the Most From a Home Inspection

How to Get the Most Value from a Home Inspection


One of the most stressful parts of selling a home is the dreaded home inspection. Getting the most value from a home inspection is crucial, especially since any missed item can cause a significant amount of trouble a few years or decades down the road. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few tips on how one can get the most value from a home inspection.


realtor showing a home to a senior couple

realtor showing a home to a senior couple

Keep Calm And Inspect On

Having a stranger paw through every corner of a house is frustrating. Homes have emotional value and no one wants to hear about their homes’ flaws. The key to a successful inspection lies in remaining calm. Blowing a fuse or arguing with an inspector is a sure way to lose money.



Stay calm, smile, and accommodate the inspectors. The payoff is worth it.


Understanding The Processhome-inspection-7

Someone has fallen in love with your home and wants to buy it.  Congratulations!  But it would be unfair and unwise for them to invest without truly investigating what they are getting into. Buyers depend on home inspections to protect them from purchasing a money pit. They want to know what they are getting into. This means that the buyer hires the inspector, not the seller. The seller must do everything they can to present a good face to the inspector because the inspector is not on their side. Inspectors investigate every aspect of a home from the roof to the yard. They look for problems that need immediate addressing and problems that might arise down the road. Negotiations take place once the buyer receives the inspection report.


home-inspection-6Good Presentation

Home inspections are rather like selling the house all over again. Take the time to dress for success. First impressions are very important when it comes to any sale. Dress nicely and act politely. Clean up the home. Touch up areas that need new paint and put some new flowers in the garden. Repair minor problems like loose gutters, faulty steps, and trim work. Make the inspector work to find problems instead of providing obvious issues.


Update The Indoors & Outdoorshome-inspection-2

Most homeowners are aware of what needs to be done. The time to take care of existing issues is before the inspection. Get electrical systems and heating and cooling systems installed. Take care of minor roof repairs. Address any plumbing issues. Not only does this save sellers money during negotiations, it also shows that they take good care of their home.


The best way to get the most value from a home inspection is to talk with an experienced real estate agent. The next best way is a good presentation and addressing known issues prior to inspection. Inspectors look more closely at homes with obvious problems than homes that appear to be well taken care of. Don’t wait. Start preparing for your inspection today.

Are you or someone you know thinking of buying or selling a home in the Charleston area?  Please contact me at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315 .  Want to search for homes?  Click here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com  I look forward to earning your business!





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3 Renovations to Avoid

bright purple

Renovations to Avoid: 3 Home Modifications That Can Lessen Your Home’s Value

Whether or not you’ve been looking into selling your house for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the buzzword ‘renovation’ and considered how it can positively impact the value of your home. From upgrading your kitchen to painting, there are plenty of renovations that will do wonders in terms of your property’s price on the market, but there are a few that can actually have the opposite effect so you’ll want to be leery of the following fix-ups.


Cool Colored Tile



If, at one point, you installed a bunch of brightly colored tile into your living room or kitchen to add a bit more life to your home, it’s possible this is the type of renovation you may come to regret upon resale. Often times, when it comes to purchasing a home, buyers will be looking for something they won’t have to renovate right off the bat, so a flashy feature can have a marked effect on the selling potential of your house.


An Unflattering Paint Color


You’ve probably heard all about the power that painting has to revamp the look of your home, but the wrong tint of paint can actually have the completely opposite effect. Instead of opting for bright or risky colors, ensure you stick to neutrals that will coordinate in a flattering way with your furniture  and flooring. A bright color can certainly make for a memorable impression, but it can also obscure many other good features if it happens to be too much.



Adding On Another Bedroom

cramped bedroom

It can often be considered a great benefit to have a house with multiple bedrooms. However, if you’ve condensed the size of one room to create an extra bedroom that’s little more than miniature, it may not have the impact on your price-point you envisioned. Instead of focusing on the house that you don’t have, play up the positive features of your home and the ideal buyer will come to you – and hopefully with the offer you’re looking for.


Renovating your home is a good idea if you’re planning on putting it on the market, but adding on another bedroom or choosing a garish color of paint might not be worth the cost you’re going to pay.

If you are planning on putting your home on the market in the near future, you may want to contact me for more information.   Shawn.Phillips@kw.com  or 843-471-7315 . Looking for a home?  Click here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!



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We Have Some Great Deals!

We have some great deals on some amazing homes! Looking for a new home?  We have listings in all areas.  Whether you are looking to relocate, a larger home for the family, a 55+ community, or just ready to enjoy all we have to offer in this charming area – we have something to suit your desires.

Contact me and I’ll be honored to help you. 843-471-7315  or Shawn.Phillips@kw.com

Need to sell first? We offer a full service listing that will help you make more money, sooner,  and have less hassle.


Current Listings 8_5_2016

This is just a taste of the wonderful homes we have listed.  Let us help you find the one that’s perfect for you and your family.  We offer proven results and quality service!

Want to learn more about what our team can do for you?   Contact me at 843-471-7315 or Shawn.Phillips@kw.com .  Didn’t see what you liked?  Search for homes here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!




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Ready to Relocate?

3 Tips on How to Set a Moving Budget That Won’t Break the Bank

Relocating to a new area can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. There are many resources to help, but most cost money.However, if you take your time and plan carefully, you can reduce the expense so you don’t start your new life with new debt. Here are three tips to controlling your moving budget.

1. Find Out What’s Free

moving 4
Nothing is better than paying nothing, right? Don’t assume you have to fork out money for everything you need to move. If you have accepted a new job, ask your new employer whether the company can cover any of your moving expenses. When it comes to moving supplies, see what you can get without having to pay for it. Stock up on free moving supplies by asking your workplace, local grocery stores, and friends and family for unneeded, sturdy boxes. Instead of paying professional movers, see if you can barter with friends or family for help in moving boxes to and from the truck.

2. Focus On Essentials
moving 2After you’ve pursued every possible angle to cover your needs for free, you will likely need to pay for something. The trick is to only do so for what is absolutely necessary. Many providers will offer you help along the way, but you should only sign up for basic services. This could include moving big items such as a piano, paying for gas and tolls, or buying cartons for oddly-shaped or particularly valuable items. If you are not able to move things yourself, this could include hiring professionals.

3. Do It Yourself

moving yourself
If you have the time and are physically fit, start long before moving day and pack everything yourself. Rent or borrow a truck and move your boxes yourself, perhaps with the help of a friend. Take care of disconnecting old utilities and signing up for new ones. Handle both cleaning your old home and preparing your new one. Anything you can do with a little elbow grease will mean less money out of pocket.

Moving to or from the Charleston area?  Contact me at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315 for advice on keeping moving expenses down. Ask about providers who may give you a discount for being referred by me. Remember that you are in charge of your move, so don’t automatically sign up for every service available. By using free goods and services when available and doing much of the work yourself, you can set and follow a moving budget you can afford.

Looking for your dream home?  Click here:  Shawn.Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!





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Market Your Community to Sell Your Home

folly beach.jpg


Home Sales Tips: How to Market the Community Around Your Home to Prospective Buyers

Selling a home is more than real estate listings and making the home appealing to potential buyers. One factor to take into account when buying a home is its location, meaning the community that surrounds the home.

For sellers as well as buyers, it’s important to highlight the benefits of living in a particular community.  After all, neighborhoods will have an enormous impact on the future buyer’s living experience.

summerville downtown

It’s All About Walkable Neighborhoods

According to a Portland, Oregon-based company, City Observatory, there’s a growing demand for homes located in walkable neighborhoods. A Decades-long love affair with commuting from suburban areas, to work in the city has greatly lost its appeal.

Also, the growing demand for walkable neighborhoods is fueled by people desiring convenient access good schools as well as to entertainment options like movies, restaurants, and shopping. There’s also an appeal for easy access through reliable public transportation.

Fifty-five percent of participants said they would gladly get a small house with a small yard if it meant easy access to stores, schools, and restaurants. Plus, a walkable neighborhood also significantly increases property values. So play up the nearby community benefits that would entice potential buyers.

bike pathGreat Neighborhood Amenities

Other favorable community amenities include bicycle paths, libraries and parks. These are great bonuses for neighborhoods to attract fitness-minded individuals and promote a family-friendly atmosphere for buyers with kids. Speaking of kids, living in an excellent school district usually yields higher home values.

According to a survey conducted by the Demand Institute, almost half of participants wanted a pet-friendly neighborhood. In fact, this factor ranked higher than easy access to public transportation and even public schooling.


Safety is a top concern for most home buyers. Although, there’s little one can do to quell neighborhood violence there are things an owner can do to make their home safer. They may want to consider studying security features on homes in their neighborhoods and adopt what they can, within reason.

Charleston 2015-2-L

What Potential Home Buyers Don’t Want In A Neighborhood

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), fewer home buyers were least impressed with communities with golf courses, a high population, gated communities, and mixed-use communities.

Homeowners, when listing a home, seek the help of a professional real estate agent experienced in listing the best features of both the home and the community surrounding it.    Interested in learning more how we can market your home creatively and make you more money?  Contact me at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or 843-471-7315

Want to see what is for sale in your area?  Click here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!








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Five Ways to Tell If It’s Time for an Upgrade

outgrown cover

Have You Outgrown Your Current Home?

Your home is your castle, your own little piece of the American dream. But lately, your little corner of the world has been feeling cramped and you find yourself eyeing those larger homes. Is it time to pull up stakes and move on from your starter home?
outgrown home

Growing Family
If you’ve added to your family in recent years, you may have more bodies than bedrooms. A two-bedroom home may have been a great idea when it was just you and your spouse, but with two kids, you’re starting to have turf wars over the play area.


Overflowing With Stuff

outgrown 3From an overflowing toy chest to closets packed so tightly with shoes and coats you risk an avalanche every time you open the door, your home just doesn’t have the space to keep all your things. You may have even had to move some things off-site, spending money to rent storage space to keep that antique dresser your grandmother left you or the set of state spoons you carefully collected during your college years.

No Rest For The Weary

overcrowded 7
You’d love to spend an afternoon soaking in the tub, but before the warmth of the water can take you away, there’s a banging on the door of the only bathroom in the house and a chorus of “hurry up!” invading your quiet time. And the man cave you dreamed of? Those visions of a big screen television were shattered by the realization you needed somewhere for the kids to sleep.

No Room For Extrasovercrowded 8

When you first moved in, the two-car garage doubled as your woodworking shop. Now, the equipment has been sent to storage to make room for the family’s second car. You’d love to take up organic gardening, but your tiny yard barely has room for a grill and a lawn chair. You’d love to host your friends visiting from out of state, but there is hardly room for their luggage, much less them.


Changes In Careerovercrowded 5

You may have opted for a starter home when you first entered the market because you had a smaller income. Now, thanks to changes in careers or promotions at work, you can afford a home with greater square footage and room for your growing family that will provide the space you need for many years of happy memories.


overcrowded 6

Interest rates are lower and you can very well afford more house for the money!  Contact me  today  at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or at 843-471-7315 and take advantage of the opportunity to give your family the most space at the best price now.  Want to search for homes?  Click here:  Shawn-Phillips.kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!






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Ready to Become A Homeowner?


home sweet homeWith all of the creative financing available, if you can afford to rent you may very well afford to buy!  Are you ready to make that leap from living at home or renting to owning a home of your own? While everyone moves at their own pace, here are some signs that you can use to determine if it is time to own your own home. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you can use to justify your decision.


Are You Sticking Around?

If you plan on moving soon for a job or think that you won’t be in town much longer, it may be better to rent. However, if you are thinking about living in the same town or within the same county for years to come, it is time to put down roots. The stability that comes with home ownership may make you more prepared for a marriage and/or a family if that is something that you want. This stability may make you more attractive if you are single and searching for a long-term relationship.

Charleston home

Do You Have a Steady Job?

Those who have a steady job and know that they have a stable salary may want to make the move to home ownership. As long as there aren’t any other major debts eating into your income, you can probably handle a mortgage and other costs associated with home ownership. The equity that you build in your home can help you build wealth for the future if and when you want to retire. There are tax advantages to owning your own home.  Your home may also make a great rental property in the future, which can help you diversify your portfolio and keep you solvent for years to come.

watching tv
You Are Spending More Time Watching Television Shows Related to Home Ownership

You may have caught yourself recently watching shows revolving around people or couples who are looking for homes. You may also be watching programs dedicated to giving tips as to how you can upgrade your home. If you watch these shows frequently, it may be a sign that you are ready to move out on your own and take on the exciting challenge of being a homeowner.

Are you ready to be a homeowner in the near future? Only you can say for sure if it is time to make that leap. However, those who are looking for a long-term housing solution may be ready to make that move. For more information,  shoot me an email at Shawn.Phillips@kw.com or call me at 843-471-7315.

I will put you in touch with a mortgage specialist who can help you determine how much home you can purchase and the various home buying plans.

Want to search for homes now?  Click here: Shawn-Phillips@kw.com

I look forward to earning your business!







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