the huntley clisham group guide to home ownership


You want to be prepared to make your dream come true for a new property, but there is a lot of preparation necessary to make it the gratifying experience you expect. After the emotion subsides, reality sets in and the trip begins. There are financial considerations before and after the purchase. There are maintenance and repair issues that must be dealt with and there are taxes, insurance and community fees that must be dealt with on a continuing basis.

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Sonny was extremely helpful. He worked with us over many months until we found our fit. We thank him for his patience!

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Open and honest. Immediately available. Very understanding and easy to work with. Generous amount of advertising. We would recommend to anyone, buying or selling!

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Questions to ask

Is Buying For You?

Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.

How much can you afford?

 It is frustrating for all of the participants in a transaction if the prospective purchaser discovers he/she is unable or unwilling to meet the financial requirements for the purchase. It is much better to consult a mortgage lender or your financial consultant prior to beginning your search for a property. You should establish how much cash you have available for the acquisition and how much excess cash flow you have on a monthly basis to provide for the new ownership responsibilities. 

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

As the saying goes, “different strokes for different folks” , but the general rule is that you should have debt at no more than 40% of your income and your housing debt should be no more than 32%. Mortgage folks pay close attention to this formula. However , it can be manipulated by putting more cash down, taking a second mortgage or seller financing. There are lots of ways to make the financing work and the Huntley Clisham Group is very creative in this area.

What does Your Plan Include?

Close your eyes and let your visual imagination create an image of your dream property. It sounds a little hokey, but this is what will ultimately make you happy. If you cannot come close to this image, you should give serious consideration to whether or not you can adjust your dream to make it fit your reality. If not, maybe now is not the right time to search for the property. 


Huntley Clisham Group is very good at helping you clarify what is doable and what is unlikely . We also are trained to help you enjoy the dream but allow for the reality early in the search . Our goal is to make sure you are successful in fulfilling your needs and wants and within the scope of your financial comfort zone. At the conclusion of our transactions, we want to have a happy buyer and a satisfied seller.

Make a list of your objectives and keep it handy when looking for property. Finding the property that meets all of your requirements can be difficult, so prioritize your objectives and requirements and be willing to compromise on one or more of the lesser ones. This will also help you control spontaneous or emotional decisions. 

A good real estate attorney is essential. They make sure all the “ I’s” are dotted and all the “ T’s “ are crossed. They make sure you have good clear title , account for all of the costs and fees, assure the other parties  comply with the contract  and make sure you have all the necessary documents and services necessary for beginning your property ownership experience.

Making An Offer. Sooner or later, you will find something you really like and making an offer is the next step. We will help you figure out the right offer ...we have done this a thousand times. We have all the comps and facts and figures to come to a reasonable offer price and to properly negotiate the process. This is what we do and what we have done for the past 40 plus years here on Hilton Head Island. We are good at it..

Getting the inspections taken care of. You should have a professional home inspector check the property for conditions that are unsafe or that should be brought up to current code. It is not always incumbent upon the seller to comply with codes and rules that were put in place after the property was built, but you want to know what they are so you can factor any upgrades or repairs into the offer. In some instances , in order to get the lowest possible price, a purchaser will not require an inspection. Only under the most extraordinary circumstances do we recommend this , but even the sophisticated purchaser will be governed by the axiom, “Let the Buyer Beware “. We can suggest licensed and professional inspectors and can consult with a purchaser on any issues that may arise. We can further recommend contractors and service providers to handle any of these issues.

Final walkthrough.  It is a good idea to do a final walkthrough just prior to closing the purchase. If you cannot be available for the walkthrough, we can assist with someone designated by you to check the property for compliance with any issues required in the agreement. 

Congratulations! It is easier than it sounds to locate and purchase a property, but it essential to have a group of professionals assist along the way. Huntley Clisham Group has been involved for over 40 years in helping purchasers and sellers get the results they want. We look forward to the opportunity of being of service to you!

Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.